How important is freshness?
VERY important! Freshness is crucial with anything that you put into your mouth. In the case of fish oils, it is even more important as you could be unwittingly adding to your free radical 'load'. Fish oil which is oxidized is loaded with free radicals and could potentially do you more harm than good.
Keep in mind though that freshness is not just time related, it is how the produce has been handled and looked after since harvesting. For example, a well handled two-day old fish can be even fresher than a one-day old fish!
Fishing for freshness
The same senses you use when buying fish from your local fishmonger should also be applied when buying fish oil. This is because your sense of smell and sight are very important when making your purchasing decision.
- When buying a whole fish, the first thing you should notice are the eyes. Fresh fish that have been handled properly and stored correctly from the boat to the display counter should have big clear eyes. Their gills should mirror the same clarity as the eyes with a bright red lustre and no parasites attached.
- When buying a fish oil, always review the supplier’s specifications and a Certificate of Analysis (COA). The oxidation levels should be as low as possible.
- Fresh fish should have no 'fishy' odours. They should literally smell like the ocean from which they've come. Fish that have been handled and stored incorrectly will start to oxidise (decompose) and the resultant smell should send you clear warning signs.
- Fresh fish oils should also have no rancid odours. Similarly, the fish oil shouldn't have distinct scents such as lime or any other unnatural fragrance. If it does, then there is no doubt that the supplier is quite aware of the product's lack of freshness and assumes that this simple 'scent-mask' will hide all traces of oxidation.
Cut open a fish oil soft gel and put it to the 'smell' test. The fish oil should smell like fish, but it must not smell rancid. If the oil is not fresh, then unfortunately – just as decomposing fish may make you sick – oxidised fish oils with rancid odours will be likely to result in some 'repeating' or 'burping' at best, and an increase in free radical levels at worst.
If your fish oil product is fresh and your digestive system is not compromised, it is very unlikely that you will ever experience any ‘repeating’ with our Xtend-Life Omega3/DHA Fish Oil products. In fact, we guarantee you will not get repeating, with our 12 month money back guarantee.
What makes Xtend-Life's Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil so fresh?
Professional product management and control is the answer. Over the last twelve years, we have been bordering on being paranoid about the way our fish oil is handled and processed. This is particularly crucial for our hoki oil; which we use it in its natural triglyceride form.
We follow very strict protocols at all stages of manufacture, right through to the point that the finished product is shipped to our customers.
Prior to encapsulation, the fish oil is stored in drums and frozen. During encapsulation, the fish oil is contained in enclosed vats and protected at all times by a ‘Nitrogen blanket’ which ensures the oil is not exposed to air. This protects against oxidization.
Note: after encapsulation and bottling, temperature is much less important so there is no problem with shipping to customers even in hot climates. However, if you are in a very hot climate, it is worth considering refrigerating your fish oil.
At Xtend-Life, we endeavour to provide you with the freshest products possible. We are very proud of our 'fresh, pure and natural' policy and strive to maintain our exceptionally high standards.
Proof that we're fresh
Before we provide our levels of freshness, it is important to understand that freshness is measured by oxidation. Always look out for the total oxidation (TOTOX) value on the supplier's COA – it is made up of two components:
- Anisidine value
- Peroxide value
Some companies do not publish their anisidine values, and although the peroxide values may be reasonable, the overall TOTOX value can be very high. Interestingly, some of them do their testing just for the peroxide value (conveniently AFTER encapsulation and AFTER an elapsed period of time). The peroxide values in a soft gel actually go down over time, BUT the anisidine values go up, therefore pushing the TOTOX value up. Although the 'N/A' indication on the COA may mean 'Not Available', we believe that it should mean 'Not Acceptable' – don't be fooled.
The table below shows how fresh our Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil really is. It should also give you a clearer picture of what you need to look out for before choosing your preferred fish oil supplement. The blue column indicates Xtend-Life's demanding specifications. For further information on the actual results, please refer to the certificate of analysis on the ‘Freshness’ page.
|Component ||Xtend-Life |
|Global Organization |
for EPA and DHA
|Council for |
|Peroxide Value |
|Anisidine Value || |
|Total Oxidation |
- N/A means 'Not Available'
- GOED is the leading international organization representing the industry and educating consumers on the value and importance of Omega 3. Xtend-Life is a proud member of GOED, however we have set our specifications even tighter than GOED
To ensure that fish oil freshness is maintained across all our products at all times, each and every batch of our Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil products are tested by independent, certified laboratories. The laboratory used depends on the test being carried out. We use two labs, namely: Cawthron Laboratories and AsureQuality.