Innovations in Oils

Transitioning to renewable resources


A novel form of canola has been engineered to produce the long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, typically found only in fish and other marine organisms. These fatty acids are essential for human nutrition, but their ongoing supply is in jeopardy as global demand is increasing faster than the oceans’ sustainable production. 

Terrestrial plants do not naturally contain these fatty acids, but researchers at CSIRO were able to engineer the biosynthetic pathway into the canola plant.  This was done by cloning a set of 5 genes responsible for EPA and DHA synthesis in microalgae and transferring them into canola. The resulting canola seed oil produces similar levels of DHA and EPA as found in fish oil. 

CSIRO, GRDC, and Nuseed developed the Omega-3 Canola trait into commercial varieties, licensed exclusively to Nuseed Pty Ltd.  Regulatory authorities in several countries have approved Omega-3 canola for cultivation and commercial production has commenced in North America.  The first batches of omega-3 oil are supplying the aquaculture feed industry under the brand-name Aquaterra®. The oil is also approved for human consumption and Nuseed will market it to the dietary supplement industry under the Nutriterra® brand.

Get the facts …

CSIRO invents DHA canola

CSIRO technology explainer video

Nuseed Omega-3 – first land-based source of DHA essential nutrients

Nuseed DHA canola patent

Regulatory approvals for cultivation of Nuseed’s DHA canola crop:

Regulatory approvals for food use of Nuseed’s DHA canola oil:

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