Several fish oils ‘rancid’ in US. Is yours fresh?

WION Web Team
New York Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 05:10 PM(IST)

Many fish oils have been found to be ‘rancid’ in the United States (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In fish oils, rancidity means a strong fishy taste and rotten smell. An average of 20% fish oil products has excess oxidation, showed a combination of several studies carried out globally since 2015. Flavourings are added by most fish oils to mask rancidity

Many fish oils in the United States have been found to be ‘rancid’ by independent tests.  

Out of the 60 large retail brands tested, over one in 10 fish oil supplements were stale. Nearly half were just under the recommended maximum limit. Some recorded levels even 11 times higher than recommended.   

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The tests have been conducted over several years by Labdoor.

In fish oils, rancidity means a strong fishy taste and rotten smell. “It was fairly frequent. For us, they would start to smell and feel off,” said Dan Mark, Labdoor’s research director.  

An average of 20% fish oil products has excess oxidation, showed a combination of several studies carried out globally since 2015.  

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“That means if you go out and buy fish oil, there is at least a one in five chance of you getting an oil more oxidised than the recommended level,” said Dr Ben Albert, fellow, University of Auckland, whose research focuses on the effects of fish oil.  

Flavourings are added by most fish oils to mask rancidity. “Flavouring is added to fish oils to help mask fishy smell and taste, and … might make more oxidised oils more palatable for people to take, so it could also be used to hide oxidation of the oil,” added Albert.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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