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Friend of the Sea has certified Nutriterra, an omega-3 product derived from GM canola, as meeting its plant-based seafood standard. Nutriterra can be used used in plant-based seafood alternatives such as vegan sushi, pictured. Image: Friend of the Sea.
Friend of the Sea has certified Nutriterra, an omega-3 product derived from GM canola, as meeting its plant-based seafood standard. Nutriterra can be used used in plant-based seafood alternatives such as vegan sushi, pictured. Image: Friend of the Sea.

Nutriterra, an omega-3 source for humans derived from genetically modified canola, has been given the seal approval from global certification standard Friend of the Sea.

The product joins fish feed ingredient Aquaterra as the first products to meet the standards of Friend of the Sea’s new plant-based certification for vegan, plant-based seafood alternatives.

Aquaterra, also made from GM canola, was certified by Friend of the Sea in March.

To obtain the plant-based certification, producers must meet requirements including:

  • A system to protect the ecosystem, with areas dedicated to the conservation of wild flora and fauna.
  • The reduction in the use of chemically synthetic substances according to the principles of organic or integrated agriculture.
  • Rational use of water resources.
  • Minimisation of mechanical operations on the ground and its compaction.
  • The use of energy from renewable resources.
  • Control of gas emissions, greenhouse effect and the implementation of the systems to reduce them.
  • Social responsibility.

Aquaterra and Nutriterra are both produced by Australian-headquartered multi-national Nuseed from GM canola grown in North America.

Benita Boettner:
Benita Boettner: "Nutriterra provides total omega-3 nutrition with a milder sensory experience than marine oils."

Ocean health

“Consumers are deeply concerned about ocean health,” said Benita Boettner, general manager of Nuseed Nutritional, which produces Nutriterra.

“Nuseed’s sophisticated technology has the potential to double the world’s supply of DHA without depleting ocean resources. Consumers are also looking for better tasting options. Nutriterra provides total omega-3 nutrition with a milder sensory experience than marine oils.”

Amod Ashok Salgaonkar, project director of the plant-based seafood initiative at the World Sustainability Organisation (WSO), which runs the Friend of the Sea programme, said: “The WSO and the Good Food Institute (Global) announced the world’s first plant-based seafoos certification in December 2020.

“Since then, much effort has been made to create an awareness about this initiative and its importance. I am happy to see that we have started getting a positive response and that Nutriterra producer Nuseed Nutritional has become the first international company in the world to place its trust in our scientifically led initiative of plant-based seafood certification. This is a remarkable moment for us.”

Sustainability commitment

The World Sustainability Organisation is an NGO whose aim is to protect critical habitats and endangered species globally by means of the Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth sustainability certifications and related conservation and awareness projects.

Friends of the Sea says the use of GM canola instead of fish for omega-3 production takes pressure off the oceans’ natural resources.

“We’re thrilled to see how innovation can support sustainability efforts. Nutriterra is a good example of this. We’re pleased to announce the certification of this new ingredient from the Nuseed family which has shown a strong commitment to sustainable practices,” said Friend of the Sea founder and chief executive Paolo Bray.