Sao Mai An Giang: Achieving Two Ends with Single Effort

4:18:09 PM | 27/8/2015

Not only being very successful in construction, real estate and fisheries, Sao Mai An Giang Group has also quickly affirmed its name in the food industry with premium fish oil, Ranee. The success of this new product not only helps Sao Mai get closer to consumers, but also solve inherent difficulties of the agricultural sector.
Extracting DHA from freshwater catfish
In a press meeting, Mr Le Thanh Thuan, Chairman and CEO of Sao Mai An Giang Group, said agricultural production in our country is wasteful. When we grow rice, we primarily take grain rather than by-products like husk, bran and straw. Similarly, in pangasius farming, we only take fillet, accounting for 30 percent, for export, while the rest is thrown away. Thus, the real value of pangasius is significantly reduced.
He had spent a lot of time to find ways to raise the value of pangasius. Scientific studies on fish fat at the National Institute of Nutrition under the Ministry of Health interested him. These studies inspired him to carry out projects to extract fish fat to make premium fish oil.
Previously, it was said that DHA was only found in fish fats living in deepwater regions, such as around Greenland and Japan, in salmon and in zebrafish or synthesised products. But today, scientists have found that the fat of pangasius and pangasius baucourti in Vietnam, freshwater species reared in cages in the Mekong River, not only contains enough ofunsaturated fatty acids – essential fatty acids – but also has abundant DHA elements.In 2014, an advanced fish oil refinery in Vam Cong Industrial Complex invested by Sao Mai Group extracted omega-3 from pangasius, a popular species in the downstream of the Mekong River.
Equipped with European technologies, the extraction rate is very high. Every 100 tonnes of materials will turn out 97 tonnes of finished products while ensuring absolute purity. According to the latest analytical results from the Vietnam National Institute of Nutrition, the refinery produces two types of premium Ranee products, olein (liquid) and stearin (condense). The content of Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily EPA and DHA, is reasonably high to supplement purely natural nutrients to daily meals.
The launch of this product not only raises the catfish value but also improves human health because valuable elements in the fat of pangasius and pangasius baucourti like omega 3, omega 6, omega 9 fatty acid, EPA, DHA, vitamins and minerals are retained completely and proven good for human health by the National Institute of Nutrition.
According to Dr Truong Tuyet Mai and researchers at the National Institute of Nutrition, DHA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid necessary for a complete nervous system, especially visual system. In adults, it functions to reduce triglycerides in the blood and bad cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction or heart attack. DHA, or Docosa Hexaenoic Acid in full, is a fatty acid belonging to omega-3 group. This is a very important substance but the human body cannot synthesise it and but must take it from foods. The brain structure of a 6-year-old human achieves 100 percent of adult brain, containing 60 percent of fats, mostly unsaturated fatty acids, of which 40 percent is DHA, a quarter of human brain.
DHA roles to human health
Nowadays, people have fully perceived essential fatty acids like alpha-Linolenic acid - Omega 3 - C18H30O2 and Linoleic acid - Omega 6 - C18H30O2. Laboratory studies on animals show high DHA concentration in neural organisation such as retina and brain organisation. In adults, DHA functions to reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides in the blood, LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Studies have proven miraculous benefits of fish oil containing omega 3 fatty acids to human health.
- Easing pain and inflammation: Fish oil containing omega 3 fatty acids has positive effects in killing inflammation and pain caused by arthritis, back pain and prostatitis.
- Uplifting morale: With at least 1,000 mg of fish oil consumed a day, the fish oil will help improve physical weakness and mental disorder, thus it is very good for people with unstable mental state.
- Protecting the heart and preventing stroke: Studies have proven that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil functions to reduce the formation of blood clots in vessel walls, thus significantly reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Used daily, fish oil lowers the risk of blood clots.
- Improving the nervous system: Fish oil helps improve memory and concentration. People who eat fish are usually more intelligent and live longer than those who eat less fish. Fish oil is also very good for pregnant women and children as it improves children’s mental power.
- Preventing cancer: Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy of fish oil in preventing certain types of cancer such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer and colon cancer. Fish oil works to prevent the development of cancer in normal and healthy cells and simultaneously inhibits the growth of harmful cells.
- Improving the heart: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have magical effects on the heart and vascular system, reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. EPA in fish oil enhances good cholesterol to protect the cardiovascular system.
- Protecting the eyes: People who regularly eat fish and fish oil supplements are exposed less to eye diseases as DHA in fish oil helps protect the eyes. In 2003, a research team from the University of Westminster found that people who used fish oil were less likely to suffer dry eyes.
- Beautifying the complexion: Fish oil contains fatty acid, omega-3 EPA, helping prevent wrinkles by maintaining and generating healthy sebum for the skin to slow skin aging. According to the Journal of Lipid Research in 2005, EPA diminished harmful effects of UV rays on the skin under the sunlight. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential in regulating functions of healthy skin cells and maintaining elasticity and firmness of the skin. Insufficient omega-3 can cause many skin problems such as eczema, dandruff and poor scar healing. Used daily, fish oil helps improve dry skin, eczema, dermatitis and acne.
- Easing anxiety and sorrow: Used regularly, fish oil helps boost arterial circulation in the cerebral area, thus reducing anxiety, harmful cholesterol, stress and tension.
Helper for catfish industry
In a meeting on agricultural production restructuring in the Mekong Delta, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat stressed that the ultimate goal of agricultural production restructuring is to improve economic efficiency and improve farmers' incomes, thus helping economic development and production environment improvement.
Therefore, intensive processing investment with high scientific and technological content for product diversification to enhance the value of aquaculture production that Sao Mai Group takes the lead in is new breakthroughs in agricultural reshuffle.
Furthermore, the fish oil refinery not only produces high-grade nutritional fish oil, but also helps the pangasius industry get out of the current "stranded" situation and brings pangasius prices to a new level.
Pham Thu