Manor Farm and Tesco Ireland have launched the first omega 3 Irish chicken in Ireland, following a significant period of research by Manor Farm’s innovation team.

The chicken is enriched by feeding the birds a diet containing omega 3-rich algae.

Most of us don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acids in our diets, according to Prof. Patrick Wall, UCD Institute of Food and Health.

People tend to think of oily fish when they think of omega 3; yet statistics from SafeFood show that one in three adults in Ireland don’t eat fish.

Meanwhile, chicken accounts for one third of the nation’s meat consumption, according to Bord Bia.

Putting two and two together, Manor Farm saw a window of opportunity.

omega 3 manor farm chicken

Aveen Bannon, Dublin Nutrition Centre, Damian Harte, Tesco Ireland and Vincent Carton, Manor Farm. Image: Julien Behal Photography

Speaking at the launch, registered dietitian Aveen Bannon of the Dublin Nutrition Centre explained: “Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are described as an essential fat, which means they are needed for good health but the body can’t make them; therefore we must get them from our diets.”

Together with a balanced diet, omega 3 plays an important role in maintaining heart health, brain function and vision. The omega 3 Irish chicken range is now said to provide a new source of this “vital nutrient”.

“We are designed to consume food not supplements. When you consume omega 3 naturally in a food you absorb much more than when you take capsules,” explained Wall.

With people already consuming fortified foods and drinks, such as milk with added vitamins and eggs with added nutrients, Vincent Carton, Managing Director of Manor Farm, explained how the omega 3 Irish chicken is now another way to enjoy a popular, staple food with added nutrients.

Sheila Gallagher, Commercial Director of Tesco Ireland said: “We are delighted to be the first retailer to bring own-label omega 3-enriched products to the Irish market.

“Working in partnership with Manor Farm on this range of omega 3-enriched chicken products allows us to continue to lead the way in providing healthier options for customers.”

The new range of omega 3-enriched chicken products is available in Tesco Ireland stores now. It includes 1.5kg whole chicken, fillets and oyster thigh and drumstick products.