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Conjugated Linoleic Acid Offers New Product Development Opportunity

by 5m Editor
22 February 2006, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2069. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 2069

The CLA Network is confident emerging research into the health benefits of conjugated linoleic acid holds the potential to give Canada's beef and dairy industries a major boost.

Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is a naturally occurring fat found, at varying levels, in animal foods, including full-fat dairy products, lamb, beef, chicken and pork which shows considerable potential human health benefits.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of CLA's health potential Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development's CLA Network is coordinating a collaborative research effort involving government, academia and industry aimed at exploring the potential of this compound in beef and dairy production.

Network Manager Vince Ohama says, although CLA research is still in its early stages, the compound shows great promise.

"Pioneering studies based largely on animal models have shown considerable CLA promise for human health benefits, especially related to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, bone density and obesity.

I think it's fairly well known that there is a drive towards healthier products and really CLA progress opens the doors to new ways to promote beef and dairy as part of a healthy diet and it also is creating opportunities to develop new beef and dairy products that capitalize on the potential that CLA has for human health.

Really I think consumers are looking for these new functional or neutraceutical products.

I think anybody can see that by a quick examination of the grocery shelves.

Where you used to see just one type of product now you're seeing organic, you're seeing functional products on the shelf so I think this is a way for producers to basically be responsive to what the consumer is demanding."

Ohama anticipates, in the next half dozen years, seeing major breakthroughs in CLA research and he expects people will be hearing a lot more about the benefits of CLA.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor