I thought I would share a few documents on the topic of cod liver oil through history. I have seen internet discussion boards with a focus attempting to describe micro nutrient x or y molecule in cod liver oil for several years. The effort to understand is human. But our understanding does not change nature. One could even create an argument that when man does change/alter nature it is not always good. These questions of understanding cod liver oil have been discussed for a very long time. Below are articles referencing fish oils long ago and excerpts from a couple books published on cod liver oil in the 1840's
The cod fish is as the cod fish has been and will always be short of man getting involved through such things as genetic manipulation or other efforts. The same with cod liver oil. It is as it is, no matter if there is agreement on this molecule, or this lab does a better job finding x nutrient, etc... These argumentative discussions do not change the fish nor the oil. It is as the fish provides assuming the effort to obtain the oil is within a natural system.
Attached are PDF's of a few recent test results that address the subject of oxidation products in cod liver oil. They were carried out by Mid West Labs, which is a leader in the US when it comes to testing, directing and working with US food safety, testing and labeling guidelines.
All our products are tested for other food safety markers such as PCB's, heavy metals, pathogens etc. All these tests come out negative and are randomly posted on our website.
The attached lab results were carried out when the lab was conducting standard pathogen tests and some amine tests. We run amine tests to better understand our fermentation process--these are not related to food safety testing. Different concentration and types of bacteria can produce the variation of biogenic amine concentrations in different products. Due to the difference of bacteria involving the fermentation, sausage will have its own amine panel, and ripened beef products will also have their own unique amine panel that assist in defining the product
We were asked for oxidation markers to be run for discussion but we routinely do not run these as they are not related to food safety but rather are used by industry in an attempt to describe flavor and odor.
Industry needs these markers so they can correlate a desired outcome based on input. For example, the higher the free fatty acid number the more difficult it is to hydrogenate an oil. Industry will segregate these oils and may determine a price on this marking point. We know that free fatty acids are healthful as they are formed by a natural metabolic processes within your gut. Free fatty acids are important for a variety of metabolic processes including sugar metabolism. Many fats you buy and eat already have free fatty acids. FCLO is no different. We have tested for these in the past but do not routinely test as it is not a food safety concern. As we ferment the livers to extract the oil without preservatives, there will always be a certain amount of free fatty acids in our product.
There are many ways to manipulate an oil to reduce these flavor/taste markers. They include adding preservatives, and exposing product to a variety of absorbents and chemical processes. These are not necessary with our products.
Below are three tests. Two are composite tests based on raw material the lab had in house and a third lot we were running for amine tests when we asked them to pull some oxidative markers.
FREE FATTY ACIDS: This is not an oxidative marker. FCLO ranged from 19.2 to 25.3 in two tests. We did run a test on pale cod liver oil for comparison and it came in at 9.64 (Yellow/pale cod liver oil is brand x. i had to buy one and test so there would be a reference point for discussion)
PV: This is a first stage oxidation marker. FCLO came in at from 3.9 to 4 . I have seen discussions on this marker and I think the aim in industry is under 10 for yellow clo. I have no test on pale cod liver oil to compare.
P ANISIDINE: This is a late stage marker. FCLO ranged from 9 to 16. The comparative pale cod liver oil tested 32
TBA: This is another late stage marker. FCLO ranged from .49 to 1.59. The yellow cod liver oil tested 1.15.
dave wetzel, oneill, October 22, 2014 at 8:31 PM
already had a question. what is pale/yellow cod liver oil? this is any cod liver oil you can find in the market place or store (Brand X) . I had to buy one and use as a marker for reference otherwise I did not know how to fully reference the discussion.
A friend of mine sent me a reminicing picture the other day. I decided to share it in honor of our oldest daughter, Ruthie's birthday on Monday. It is a special family memory from the begining of our family.
We do not spend the dollars very often on these tests as the tests do not tell a proper story nor do we fully agree with the standardization of the industrial oils industry using these parameters to define quality. But every now and then we get questions. Here are the last tests we have done on the different defining parameters described by Dr. Jie... (FYI we need oxygen to live... the free radical theory is false :) )
Fyi, we have completed a two year study on peroxide previously posted
Here are the sum of today's topic.
1) Our product is unique. It is fermented and using the industrial standards to evaluate it is unfair and inappropriate. We do not measure the oxidative stability because we think it is unnecessary for our products. We do not use any heat, chemicals to refine/purify our products; the products are the way it should be. And the test results have proved the oxidation is not as high as someone thought. The PV was less 4.5 mEq/kg at the initial measurement and the P-Anisidine value was 11.02. The TBARS was just 2.35 mg/kg. The numbers are pretty low and I do not think it can become an issue. We do not want to add any additives in our products and we want it to be produced in the natural way.
Jie PhD Quality Control Manager Green Pasture Products