Essential Fatty Acids

In 2019, we sent samples of the finished meat from the first group of steers to the food science laboratory at Utah State University to test the essential fatty acid composition. The results came back with an Omega 6:3 ratio of 1:1.

In an earlier study by Rossarin Tansawat, et all, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology in 2013, he analyzed and compared the composition of pasture fed beef and grain fed beef. In his findings, pasture fed beef had an average omega 6:3 ratio of 2:1, though it only graded at Select. The grain fed beef had an average omega 6:3 ratio of 7:1, with grades ranging from choice to prime.

Our fermented forage beef has a consistent Omega 6:3 ratio of 1:1, even lower than grass-fed beef, and it retains the beneficial properties of Prime grade.

In subsequent years, we have tested samples from each group at harvest, as well as testing standard market beef, purchased through typical retail channels. We have tested various cuts, as well as ground beef, and the results have always been within the same ranges as the published study. Our findings have been consistent each year and are summarized in the table below:  


Omega Balance
Natural Beef®

Grass-fed Beef

Grain-fed Beef

Age at slaughter

16-18 month

32-36 month

20-24 month





Omega 6:3 Ratio








A detailed omega fatty acid analysis is shown below using data from our 2021 results to illustrate the changes based on the feed intake. 

In these samples, the grass-fed beef actually had a ratio of 1.34:1, which is very good, but the Omega Balance Natural Beef® had a ratio of 0.83:1, which is significantly better, yet we retain the commercial properties that are so desirable in finished beef, such as fat content, marbling, tenderness, and flavor. 

We have conducted similar experiments with bison and compared our Omega Balance Natural Bison® with both grass-fed and grain-fed bison. The results were consistent with the table above. The Omega Balance Natural Bison® had a consistent Omega 6:3 ratio of 1:1, with grass-fed at 2:1 and grain-fed between 3-4:1. We also included comparison data from a study out of North Dakota State University which actually showed much higher Omega 6:3 ratios. 

Conclusion Based on our experiments and the illustrated results, it is possible to reduce the Omega 6:3 ratio in prime finished beef to an optimum level of 1:1, while improving on the finish quality of the commercial meat. The process of fermentation increases nutrient availability in the natural forage, providing a diet consistent with the nature of the animal while increasing performance and final quality. There is truly Nothing Like It!

Learn more about the role of Omega Balance Natural Meats in your healthy, balanced diet.