“All the omega oils – three, six and nine – are unsaturated and are all healthy but have slightly different attributes,” said Mary LaGuardia, market manager for Omega-9 Oils, a subsidiary of Dow AgroSciences.
“Omega-3 is linked to cognitive brain development but it’s challenging to use as a food ingredient as it is unstable so it starts to turn rancid and have a low shelf life.”
“When we talk about omega-9 oils, we’re talking about particular types of canola and sunflower oil that are high in omega-9, or oleic acid. They also have very low amounts of omega-3, or linolenic fatty acids. That combination makes them very stable and suitable for frying.”
Developed by the Dow Chemical Company, now Dow-DuPont, using traditional plant breeding techniques, the oils have higher levels of omega-9 than typical canola or sunflower varieties.
“They have really been developed for food manufacturers and food service operators because they are functional and naturally stable.”
LaGuardia said they could be considered healthy oils as they do not need to be partially hydrogenated to keep them fresh, and they have low levels of saturated fat.
“The high level of mono-unsaturated fatty acids have heart benefits in terms of lower LDL cholesterol.”