Fishy smell? Fishy taste? Fishy burps?

These are the signs of oxidised, and most likely rancid, fish oil! Not only is this unpleasant, it’s also not good for you. The consumption of oxidised fatty acids has been shown to contribute to negative health outcomes—such as free radical formation and increased susceptibility to oxidative damage to tissues. Oxidised fish is not absorbed as well by the body, and, therefore, does not reliably deliver the health benefits you’re looking for.

Why is Some Fish Oil Oxidised?

Oxygen is the enemy of freshness. Fish oils are highly susceptible to degradation if handled improperly during manufacturing and storage. So it’s critical to avoid oxygen during fish oil production. Unfortunately, many manufacturers do not adequately protect these delicate oils from oxygen.

How is Fish Oil Freshness Measured?

Fish oil freshness is the absence of rancidity, and is measured by total oxidation (TOTOX) value. The lower the TOTOX number, the fresher the fish oil, and the likelier your body will respond positively to your omega-3 supplement.

The only way to truly know fish oil freshness is through testing. Nordic Naturals tests TOTOX levels repeatedly throughout thier proprietary, oxygen-free manufacturing process in order to ensure exceptional freshness levels in all their oils. They’ve even partnered with leading research organisation Nutrasource Diagnostics to develop a groundbreaking test that accurately analyses freshness levels in flavoured omega-3 oils, a first in the industry.

In addition, every batch of fish oil is third-party tested to verify their leading purity levels, based on the toxicity equivalent testing methodology established by the World Health Organization. Nordic Naturals offer transparent access to our Certificates of Analysis, which prove that they deliver safe and effective products.

Boat-to-Bottle Management Ensures Fresh Fish Oil

Nordic Naturals is the only company in the world who manage every step of the manufacturing process, from boat to bottle. This allows them to produce omega-3 fish oils that are exceptionally fresh.

In order to avoid exposure to oxygen, Nordic Naturals uses nitrogen during every step of manufacturing. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Only by using nitrogen can fish oil be protected from oxidative rancidity. Nordic Naturals oxygen-free manufacturing process allows them to deliver leading freshness levels. This may explain why so many people who did not previously benefit from fish oil report extraordinary results when using Nordic Naturals products.

The Taste Test!

We also recommend the tried and true human taste test. Smell it. Sip it. Bite into your soft gel. Trust your senses. If it tastes and smells fishy,  forget it.

Most good fish oil companies supply free samples for you to try in-store before you commit to buying it. Beware, some companies are known to heavily flavour or enteric coat the capsules to try and mask the oxidised ‘fishy’ taste. A good sign you are taking a fresh oil is if it tastes like fresh fish (with a hint of flavour if you are taking a flavoured oil).

Watch the short clip below to hear Stuart Tomc, advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO), explain how to tell if you are taking a high quality fish oil.