Beeswax is not something that you commonly find in cod liver oil products. In fact, I can think of remarkably few products to add beeswax into them. In this post I’ll cover information about the beeswax we use in our fermented cod liver oil, and why we do it.
About our Beeswax
The beeswax we use comes from bees that have fed primarily on forest blossom as well as various wildflowers. This minimises the exposure of pesticides and ensures a completely natural product. As a result, the wax is a lovely light yellow, which is responsible for the colour of the oil in the capsules. Beeswax does come in a variety of colours. These range from the yellow of the wax we use, to an amber brown colour. The colour of the beeswax is mainly influenced by the flowers the bees forage on, and the age of the wax.
Why we use beeswax
The reason is simple. We use beeswax to thicken the oil so it can easily fill the capsule shell in small-scale production. Beeswax is a complex mix of fatty acids and similar structures, and so mixes extremely well and evenly with oils. It is naturally very hard, and so by varying the amount of beeswax added to the oil, you can easily control the thickness.
There are of course other thickeners available to the supplement market too. We chose beeswax as our thickener for a number of reasons though. Aside from its ability to mix with fermented cod liver oil, beeswax is extremely safe to eat. Beeswax has a very long history of being eaten (more so than most modern foods), and its safety is unsurprising. However, if there was any doubt, the European Commission and WHO have evaluated the use of beeswax in foods, and decided it is safe.
Finally, beeswax is a completely natural substance. It would have been available to the Celts when they fermented fish. It was important to us to keep the product as authentic as possible, and so when we decided we should thicken the oil, beeswax made a lot of sense. So, beeswax ticked the boxes for chemical stability, safety and is a traditional material. It was perfect for what we wanted it for.
Does beeswax interact with fermented cod liver oil?
In short, no. Beeswax is chemically stable, and mixing it with cod liver oil is not too different from adding more long chain fatty acids to the oil. There is some limited research to suggest that mixing cod liver oils with beeswax can help improve the stability of the cod liver oil. This is altogether possible, but not something we are willing to make a claim about. For now, all we know is that it thickens the oil, is safe to eat, and is completely natural – and that is all we want of it!