Chickens full of trendy omega-3 fatty acids are coming

November 7, 2018  20:00

Suck it, salmon: Chicken’s coming for your nutritional crown.

Murray’s Chicken, a poultry purveyor in South Fallsburg, NY, is powering up its meat with omega-3 fatty acids — a type of healthy fat linked to heart and brain health, of which salmon is famously full.

The company worked with local farmers to supplement chickens’ typical corn- and soy-based feeds with an omega-3-rich blend of flaxseed, peas and wheat, chief operating officer Dean Koplik tells The Post.

The resulting “IQ” chicken, so named for omega-3’s purported brain-boosting abilities, boasts about 1,300 milligrams of the fatty acid in its skin-on thigh meat (traditionally the most omega-rich cut of the bird). That’s significantly more than the 150-ish milligrams in normal chicken thighs, and on a par with the 2,000 or so milligrams found in a similar-sized serving of salmon. It’s currently sold online and at Fairway Market, with Manhattan locations that charge $3.19 per pound for a package of thighs.

“It’s a good idea,” says Cornell University animal-science professor Xingen Lei. “Chickens with omega-3 would improve the health value of animal products to humans.”

Still, there are some kinks to work out, he says. Lei suspects it will be a long time before wider markets reap the fatty benefits, since flaxseed is so much more expensive than traditional feed. Plus, Lei — who’s also an expert in nutritional genomics — points out that flaxseed lacks a few types of healthy fats that salmon has. So “the claim that they’re as good as salmon probably is overstated,” he says.

Still, it’s an improvement on your average chicken breast, Koplik says. Plus, he adds, fish can be a tough sell for picky eaters — but “everybody eats chicken.”

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