Frequently asked questions
Fish oils are an excellent dietary source of the important omega 3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These lipids are particularly beneficial for the healthy function of the heart, brain and nervous system.
Fish oils are derived from a variety of fatty fish and are blended to give a total of 30% EPA and DHA. In the health food industry, they are also known as 18/12 oils as they give an EPA/DHA ratio of 18% and 12% respectively per 1g oil. In low-cost health supplements they are the basis of many so-called 'concentrates'. Although these commodity edible oils provide higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids than cod liver oil, they are not concentrates. One gram of concentrated fish oil a day can provide twice as much EPA/DHA as 18/12 oil. Fish oil concentrates are distilled and refined during several processes which also reduces the level of saturates and contaminants which may remain in unrefined 18/12 grades.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is an omega 3 fatty acid. EPA is essential for the regulation of brain functioning, such as cell signalling and neuronal blood flow. EPA also plays an important role in controlling the inflammatory and immune systems.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega 3 fatty acid known to be an essential lipid component in the eye, brain and nervous tissues. It is helps to improve cognitive function in the elderly, concentration in children and infant development amongst many other benefits.
Croda’s Super Refined™ fish oils are available in either ethyl ester (EE) or triglyceride form (TG). EEs are formed by taking the crude fish oil and high purity ethanol using a process called esterification. These ethyl esters can then be used in order to concentrate the EPA and DHA present in the crude fish oil, using various processes. The concentrated forms of EPA and DHA can then be consumed as ethyl esters or be converted to triglyceride form.
Fish oil is short for fish body oil, usually extracted from fatty fish. It is not the same thing as cod liver oil, which, as the name suggests, is derived from cod liver. Cod liver oil contains low concentrations of EPA and DHA and high levels of fat soluble vitamins. As a result, you would probably exceed the recommended daily intake of vitamins A and D if you were to try to obtain higher, therapeutic amounts of EPA and DHA from cod liver oil. Unprocessed oils may also contain high levels of environmental pollutants that have been concentrated in the liver, unlike Croda’s highly concentrated fish oils which are processed via PureMax™ technology to minimise impurities.
It is generally recommended that people eat 2 portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily fish e.g. mackerel, herring, tuna. While eating oily fish regularly would be a natural and healthy way to obtain omega 3s in the diet, contamination from common marine pollutants such as heavy metals, dioxins, pesticides, and PCBs has raised health concerns about these foods. Fish which are higher up the food chain like tuna, sea bass, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel are at greater risk of accumulating high levels of pollutants. Most recently, reported mercury contamination of many fish species has prompted food safety agencies in several countries to issue guidelines. Both the FSA (Food Standard Agency, UK) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration, US) advise pregnant and breast-feeding women to limit their intake of fresh and canned tuna, and avoid certain other fish altogether.
PureMax™ is Croda’s proprietary technology used to enhance our customer’s end product by:
Croda have recently launched a concentrated omega 3 ingredient called Ωmelife™ Smooth. It is an emulsion manufactured using state of the art micro-encapsulation technology and is suitable for use in a wide variety of food applications, such as bakery, savoury and dairy products, cereals and drinks. Ωmelife™ Smooth is a concentrated, stable and fresh tasting ingredient that is readily bioavailable and will increase the potency claim of food products in which it is included.