Funding boost for sustainable Omega-3 oil - that should make you feel better

30 Jun 2016

Professor Peer SchenkResearch into sustainable agriculture production between UQ and a leading Australian industry partner has attracted $1 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P).

Professor Peer Schenk of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is the key participant in the project led by Qponics Limited.

The project aims to help translate research findings into practical methods to accelerate sustainable omega-3 production from microalgae.

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid for the human diet. A widely available dietary source is oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.

“This project uses solar energy to produce omega-3 oils for human health, without impacting on global fish stocks,” Professor Schenk said.

“This is achieved by translating proof-of-concept technologies which my team and I have developed over 10 years at the University’s Algae Energy Farm at Pinjarra Hills.  

“Lead Participant Qponics Limited will integrate UQ’s technologies to deploy sustainable, organic production of omega-3 fatty acids from microalgae.

“The commercial-scale production process includes carbon dioxide and nutrient recycling and power generation from solar panels and biogas.”

Professor Schenk said the project targeted the distribution of high-quality vegetarian omega-3 products throughout the Asia/Pacific region - the fastest-growing market for these products.

“This will provide affordable health benefits and a renewable source of omega-3 oils to a growing world population,” he said.