Oxidation of omega-3s has been a recent topic in the media and there is confusion about what oxidation is, how it happens and the repercussions of consuming an oxidized product. In order to help the industry to avoid oxidation issues and produce the highest quality products available, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) has developed “GOED Best-Practice Guidelines on Oxidation Control,” (link to http://goedomega3.com/industry or attached pdf), a document designed to provide assistance in reducing the risk of oxidation of EPA/DHA-containing oils at different points along the value chain, from processing to finished products reaching the consumer.
GOED’s Gerard Bannenberg, Director of Compliance & Scientific Outreach
and coordinator of GOED’s Technical Committee, which assisted in these guidelines, commented, “Because oxidation can happen at any stage of handling an EPA/DHA-containing oil or finished product, these best-practice guidelines provide specific approaches on how to handle, store, and sample omega-3 products. Implementing these tactics can significantly improve product quality and reduce the risk that products reaching consumers are out of specifications for oxidation.”
The guidelines are meant to assist GOED members and the omega-3 industry as a whole but do not replace GOED’s Voluntary Monograph, which specifies the maximum limits of oxidation for the ingredients and products that fall within its scope.
As background, this is the third set of technical and analytical documents GOED has released to help the industry.
- The GOED Voluntary Monograph was developed in 2002 to serve as the industry definition of quality. The standard, to which GOED members are required to adhere, is the strictest in the world and helps ensure consumers have access to high quality products.
- In 2015 GOED then developed a Technical Guidance Document to assist GOED members in choosing appropriate analytical test methods and working with various types of omega-3 oils.
- These Oxidation Control Guidelines were developed as a result of discussions with GOED members, who were eager to develop best practices for the entire industry to identify where specific improvements can be made to prevent or limit oxidation.