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Fields & Applications Mass Spectrometry, Gas Chromatography, Food, Beverage & Agriculture

Omega-3 Odyssey

You have probably noticed during a regular visit to your local grocery store that many common food products, such as bread, cereal, milk, and eggs, are ‘rich in omega-3s’. And perhaps you have a friend who is taking omega-3 supplements?

Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), a class of lipids characterized by a carboxylic group, an aliphatic chain, and multiple double bonds. They are named according to the position of the first double bond in the carbon chain, starting from the terminal carbon atom of the molecule (called the ‘omega carbon’ because omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet). The other type of PUFAs are omega-6s.

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About the Author

Giuseppe Astarita

Giuseppe Astarita works at the intersection of biology and technology. He is principal scientist in lipidomics and metabolomics at Waters Corporation (Milford, Massachusetts, USA) and serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University (Washington, DC, USA). An expert in lipid mass spectrometry and metabolomics for translational medicine and biomarker discovery, his interests are in the role of lipid metabolism in health and disease, including inflammation, Alzheimers disease, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, aging, and drug addiction. In 2010, The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids named him Top New Investigator Award in Biochemistry of Lipids.

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