Front Microbiol. , 2023, Nov 7;14:1280296.

. Biotechnological production of omega-3 fatty acids: current status and future perspectives.

Qin J Kurt E LBassi T et al.


Omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have shown major health benefits, but the human body’s inability to synthesize them has led to the necessity of dietary intake of the products. The omega-3 fatty acid market has grown significantly, with a global market from an estimated USD 2.10 billion in 2020 to a predicted nearly USD 3.61 billion in 2028. However, obtaining a sufficient supply of high-quality and stable omega-3 fatty acids can be challenging. Currently, fish oil serves as the primary source of omega-3 fatty acids in the market, but it has several drawbacks, including high cost, inconsistent product quality, and major uncertainties in its sustainability and ecological impact. Other significant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include plants and microalgae fermentation, but they face similar challenges in reducing manufacturing costs and improving product quality and sustainability. With the advances in synthetic biology, biotechnological production of omega-3 fatty acids via engineered microbial cell factories still offers the best solution to provide a more stable, sustainable, and affordable source of omega-3 fatty acids by overcoming the major issues associated with conventional sources. This review summarizes the current status, key challenges, and future perspectives for the biotechnological production of major omega-3 fatty acids.

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