Below is a table comparing some key aspects of cod liver oil production between ourselves and generic cod liver oil. By ‘conventional’ cod liver oil, we do not mean every other cod liver oil. There are other brands which have the same or similar values to ours, but there are not many. We have used the term ‘conventional’ to describe a generic cod liver oil that is often produced on a large scale.
Below the table we have explained why each point is important to us.
|Armorica Fermented Cod Liver Oil||Conventional cod liver oil|
|Fatty acid form||Triglycerides.||Ethyl-ester.|
|Uses heat in processing?||No.||Yes.|
|Removes naturally occurring nutrients?||No.||Yes.|
|Replaces natural vitamins with single form synthetic vitamins?||No.||Yes.|
|Uses only Cod liver in production?||Yes.||No (often it is a blend of cod liver and related fish).|
|Uses harsh chemicals?||No||Yes.|
|Makes lab results public?||Yes.||Not usually.|
|Method for removal of environmental toxins.||Combination of plant material, natural fibres and clay.||Various, but often includes molecular distillation.|
Fatty acid form
In nature, fatty acids are found as triglycerides. The body has adapted to be able to digest, and utilise fats in this form very efficiently. During some commercial processes these triglycerides are converted into ethyl-esters, which are much more chemically stable. This makes the oil easier to process. Ethyl-esters are not a natural form to find fatty acids in though, and so the body is not able to utilise them as easily.
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely delicate. Heat accelerates the rate at which these omega-3 fatty acids break down.
Naturally occurring nutrients
As briefly covered here, there are many forms of vitamin D, not just one single form called vitamin D3. All the variations of vitamin D work together and improve the overall vitamin D activity of the oil. Synthetic vitamins are also thought to be less beneficial to the body than naturally occurring vitamins.
Only using cod (gadus morhua)
Only using cod is what a true cod liver oil it, however this is not the industry standard for defining cod liver oil. Many manufacturers will add oil from a variety of fish. These fish will not have the same EPA/ DHA ratios, may be heavily farmed, or may contain less vitamins, which then have to be substituted with synthetic versions.
Use of chemicals
We don’t use any chemicals of any sort in our process because they can damage the oil and its nutrients. The most dangerous chemical we use is simple sea salt!
Public lab results
We make our lab results public here, and we believe that transparency is important.
Environmental toxin removal
Removal of dangerous environmental toxins such as dioxins is extremely important. There are different way to approach this problem. Ours is a slow method, which is not a problem as we only produce small quantities. However, large and highly commercialised production needs faster results, which often uses damaging temperatures and chemicals.
This is a process which removes long chain fatty acids. These fatty acids go solid at low temperatures which can make the oil cloudy. They are removed to produce a more aesthetically pleasing oil. We do not remove these long chain fatty acids because we want to produce a complete and wholesome product.