Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content and Oxidation State of Fish Oil Supplements in New Zealand

A new scientific paper authored by GOED and some of its members that attempted to replicate the findings from a paper in 2015 by Albert et al has been published in Scientific Reports. The original paper controversially claimed nearly all fish oil supplements in New Zealand did not contain the EPA and DHA stated on the label and were excessively oxidised. The GOED study found that nearly all — 96% — of the products tested complied with regulatory limits for oxidation for edible oils and 91% complied with label claims about EPA and DHA content.

The GOED paper also assessed the products against GOED’s more stringent Voluntary Monograph standards and found that 72% of products in the market met these self-imposed limits for Peroxide Value (PV), 86% met the p-Anisidine Value (pAV) limits and 91% met EPA and DHA claims on the labels. While there is clearly still room for improvement, the results are in line with what GOED has observed in its randomised testing of products from around the world.

Notably, this is the fourth study that has attempted to replicate the results of the first paper in the NZ and Australia markets, and none could do so. GOED’s paper contains the largest sample size of products from these studies and is unique because nearly all the products were analysed by multiple labs after being blinded to avoid any confirmation bias or method execution issues.