One of the most pressing food supply problem of the 21st century is about to be solved as Australian researchers believe that they are able to breed canola with the same omega 3 oils found in fish.
The new project which is a part of the CSIRO's Food Futures Flagship aims to increase up to $3 billion to Australia's agrifood sector using the plant science which is a frontier technology.
According to James Petrie, a team member of the project, the next crucial step of the work is to repeat the success with canola using a large-scale-on-farm trial.
He said, We've got proof of concept, so what that means is we have proven a canola plant of a flax plant - an oil plant - is actually capable of making these long-chain omega 3 oils in the seed and building them up to relatively good levels.
Great commercial values are to be expected if the project of growing genetically modified (GM) canola with the long-chain fatty acids that are essential in boosting brain developments and heart health, is successful.
There is a large potential in being able to add in enriched elements to milk, orange juice, bread and other foods in the processing industry.
Dr Brett Glencross, CSIRO's head of aquaculture research said that if the project is successful, the holy grail of aquaculture will be achieved. The Australian agriculture currently is able to support a population of 60 to 100 million people, even though the country's population is only 20 to 25 million.
He asserted by saying that So what I see Australia doing the future is providing resources, this time fish feed resources to sustain the future growth of fish worldwide and particularly in the Asian region.
Although it may take 10 to 15 years to reach commercial production, Australian researchers are pioneers in this new aquaculture feed development of mixing fish oil with plant and animal oils of farmed animals like poultry.