The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) has on request from The Norwegian Food Safety Authority assessed risks of decomposition substances and oxidation products in fish oils.
In accordance with the terms of reference, the main focus is on production of fish oil and on fish oil used as food supplements (i.e. in bottle or encapsulated).
Other marine sources for oil production such as krill and seal blubber, as well as emulsions and microencapsulation of marine n-3 fatty acids for fortification of regular food, are not evaluated in detail.
Furthermore, food supplement based on oil derived from the crustaceans Calanus finmarchicus, which is a growing business, has not been included.
Major parts of this evaluation are descriptions of marine oil production and description of oxidation of marine oils as asked for by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet).
The term “fish oil” is used when the oil in question is derived from fish sources, while the term “marine oil” is used when the oil is derived from fish or other marine organisms, including seal and krill.
Please note that it is beyond the scope of this evaluation to address environmental contaminants in marine raw materials/oils and in final products.
This assessment was published October 19th 2011.