EVCLO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Isn’t ratfish a bottom feeding fish that would absorb more contaminants (e.g. dioxins, lead, mercury, etc.) than most fish?
Yes, ratfish are bottom feeders residing at depths of up to 2,000 meters. Crude ratfish liver oil (directly from the liver) does test above the EU limits for contaminants, and it is not advisable to consume it, even for those in Norway who are able to obtain fresh ratfish livers.
Rosita uses a proprietary process that attracts contaminants like a magnet using materials from the ocean. Unlike most cod liver oil producers, who use molecular distillation (high heat) to remove/reduce contaminants, a process that destroys precious vitamins A and D, the Rosita process does not damage the vitamins but keeps them intact just as they are in the cod’s liver. Once the ratfish and cod liver oils have passed through the contaminant filter, they test below the strict EU guidelines. It is important to keep in mind that no fish you eat (nor, for that matter, any beef, chicken, or pork) is completely free of dioxins and contaminants unless it is highly processed, which destroys the nutrients.
The vitamin E is totally natural and obtained from non-GMO seeds. It is full spectrum natural vitamin E, not isolated vitamin E.
It is free of all common allergens.
- Tree nut-free
The amounts used are very small indeed but essential for a completely raw and unprocessed oil to have a more stable shelf-life.
Yes. Rosita is the only company that has been granted permission to advertise their cod liver oil as genuine “Extra-Virgin” by The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research. In addition, they are the only company using a very ancient and rare method to produce their cod liver oils. No other company on this planet knows this method.
“Cod fish only contains vitamin D3. There is no vitamin D2 in either cod fish or cod liver oil.” -Dr. Jacob Exler, Nutritionist, USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory
Rosita EVCLO contains exactly what you would find present in the liver oil of a “living” wild codfish – nothing more and nothing less. Though vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are available in a fish’s diet vitamin D2 is almost absent in fish and fish liver oils. A possible explanation regarding why this is the case is provided below:
What Forms of Vitamin D are Available in a Fish’s Diet?
- Phytoplankton Microalgae live at the surface of the water and vitamin D2 is probably formed via sun exposure of provitamin D (ergosterol). This is supported by the fact microalgae tested in August have a higher vitamin D content than in October and December.
- Phytoplankton Microalgae have been reported by some to also contain (in addition to ergosterol and vitamin D2) both vitamin D3 and provitamin D3. There is evidence for microalgae (phytoplankton) as the basis of the food chain is the origin of vitamin D3 in fish. The occurrence of vitamin D3 in microalgae suggests that vitamin D3 may exist in the plant kingdom and vitamin D3 has also been identified in several plant species.
- Zooplankton Zooplanktons principally contain 7-dehydrocholesterol as their provitamin D content. Codfish also consume zooplankton (i.e. Copepoda). Levels of vitamin D3 may vary depending on the time of year and depth in the sea that the zooplankton are found.
- Fish Skin Although there is some evidence for the synthesis of vitamin D3 in the skin of fish, vitamin D3 synthesis is likely to be negligible or minimal because of the limited UVB-light in their natural habitats combined with low amounts of 7-dehydrocholesterol in fish skin.
What forms of vitamin D are present in fish and fish livers?
It is obvious from what has been written above that both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are available for fish in their diet, but vitamin D2 is almost absent in fish. The only form of vitamin D that has been identified at significant levels in fish oils (both body and liver) is vitamin D3. This is also supported by the work of world famous vitamin D researchers including Dr Michael Holick who has never found vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) in cod liver oil or other livers oils including flounder, red fish, mackerel, eel, and mullet liver oils. In addition, similar results have been obtained by the Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling University who have sampled fish livers and a great deal of unrefined fish liver oils over many years.
The Mystery Why Fish Liver Oils Only Contain Vitamin D3
What remains a mystery to scientists and marine experts is why the only form of vitamin D that has been identified in fish oils is vitamin D3. You would expect vitamin D2 would be present especially if vitamin D2 produced in phytoplankton was concentrated in the food chain. The main explanations for this observation include:
- Fish have the ability to discriminate between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 and therefore only concentrate vitamin D3 in their visceral oils.
- Alternatively, fish or zooplanktons that consume phytoplankton have a similar capacity as Paramecium to convert the side chain of vitamin D2 into the side chain of vitamin D3.
- There is also a possibility the bioavailability of vitamin D2 is lower than for D3 in fish.
More about vitamin D
Humans obtain vitamin D from diet and sunlight. There are two main forms of vitamin D: cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2). The main source of vitamin D3 is from exposure to sunlight, which accounts for more than 90% of the body’s vitamin D requirement. Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the human skin by a photochemical conversion via ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure of provitamin D3 (7-dehydrocholesterol). Vitamin D2 is sourced from the UV irradiation of ergosterol, which is a steroid found in some plants but largely fungi. Humans have a combination of vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 available to them from sunlight UV exposure (vitamin D3), egg yolks and oily fish (vitamin D3), fortified margarine, milk and breakfast cereals (fortified vitamin D2) and dietary supplements (vitamin D2 and vitamin D3).
Both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 undergo similar enzymatic hydroxylation processes which converts them to the active metabolite 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2 or D3 (calcitriol). The liver and kidneys participate to make this active form of the vitamin that the body can use. However, there may be differences in their respective efficacies in raising serum 25(OH)D, which is a marker of vitamin D status. Differences may be due to their differing affinities for the vitamin D receptor. It is also thought that vitamin D3 is the preferred substrate for hepatic 25-hydroxylase.
Some studies indicate that vitamin D3 is more efficacious at raising serum 25(OH)D concentrations than is vitamin D2; and that vitamin D2 is 30% to 50% less effective than vitamin D3 in maintaining serum 25(OH)D levels. However, other studies have suggested that both forms of vitamin D are similarly effective.
Rancid fish oils, whether nutrient rich or not, can have a pro-oxidant effect within the body which is the opposite of an antioxidant effect. This can result in cellular damage. Such oils should strictly be avoided by infants, children, pregnant mothers and those with impaired immune systems.
A while back, the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research conducted an initial series of in vitro studies on the extra virgin oils produced at ECO-Marine to determine their effects (versus the popular oils on the market) on oxidative stress parameters. Preliminary results suggest that the popular oils result in oxidative stress in the human cells tested, leading to cellular damage. The only oils which did not were the extra-virgin oils. The results are still early, but nevertheless very interesting.
Research indicates that rancid oils may also inhibit the cells’ own antioxidant system and reduces the inflammation-inhibiting effect of omega-3 fatty acids in cell models. Even more worrying is the fact that rancid fats have been implicated in increased rates of heart disease, atherosclerosis and are possibly carcinogenic. .
Various methods can be used for screening and monitoring lipid peroxidation (oxidative rancidity) including measuring levels of:
- Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances’ (TBARS)
- Free fatty acids
- Acid values
At the initial stages of oxidative rancidity primary oxidation products are produced and the oil will have elevated levels of peroxide and anisidine. However, once the oil has been in a state of rancidity for a prolonged period of time the peroxide and anisidine values drop to normal or very low levels because the primary oxidation products (i.e. hydroperoxides) have been converted to secondary oxidation products. Hence, if you test an oil that is in an “advanced stage of rancidity” (or putrid) you will see low levels of peroxide and anisidine and assume that the oil is still fresh. Not so! The low levels are simply because the primary oxidation products have now been converted to secondary oxidation products. These secondary oxidation products can be detected by measuring TBARS. Oils which are in an advanced stage of rancidity will also typically have raised TBARS, a dark color and a strong taste and smell. The old time Norse fishermen and Vikings actually favored the clear/pale golden colored oil. This oil was fresh and healthy.
As a final note, another form of rancidity is “hydrolytic rancidity” which is evident in oils which have raised free-fatty acid levels and elevated acid values.
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil is real Norwegian cod liver oil that is fresh, raw & handcrafted from wild livers using a very rare ancient extraction technique which uses nature to separate the oil from its liver. No chemicals, solvents and mechanical devices are ever used during the extraction process. The oil is completely unrefined and produced under the total absence of heat, a process that protects its nutritional value. This type of cod liver oil is both precious and rare – something that is almost impossible to achieve on an industrial level. This ancient oil is of the highest quality with all the health benefits that are naturally present in the oil of a “living” codfish liver.
EVCLO has a pale/golden color and a mild, but in no way repulsive, fishy taste. It is thoroughly tested by leading universities and government-linked institutes. A true ancient oil in today’s modern world, and one their Norse ancestors would have been proud to consume! Rosita is introducing this genuine article to the general public for the very first time.
“As far as we are concerned, there is only one way of producing fresh genuine & authentic cod liver oil and that is by using the methods employed by our ancient forefathers” ~ Rosita
How can consumers know whether their EVCLO has gone rancid or not? Is there a change in scent or color or texture?
The appearance, taste, scent and texture of Rosita EVCLO will vary from batch to batch. This is entirely normal for a completely unadulterated cod liver oil. Generally, fresh EVCLO is pale/golden colored and tastes quite nice with a slightly fishy bouquet. And this makes perfectly good sense when you consider that fresh codfish livers do not have a strong taste or smell. Local Norwegian fishermen will tell you that cod liver oil darkens and develops an undesirable taste and odor only when it becomes rancid. Actually, undesirable flavors and odors develop at the very early stages of oxidation.
Rosita handcrafted cod liver oil complies with all international quality standards. They take great care to avoid exposure to oxygen and light. But Rosita goes much further and avoids any contact of the liver with brine (salt solution) because salt is known to attract oxidative rancidity. Another reason why the livers are never allowed to decompose, and why Rosita immediately removes them as soon as the wild codfish are hauled into the boat from the ocean, is because iron (which is stored in the liver) is also known to attract oxidative rancidity. Rosita does not add flavors, deodorize or mix EVCLO with other non-fish oils that can mask the taste and smell of cod liver oil. They want you to taste what real EVCLO should taste like, and enjoy its freshness knowing that it is free of rancidity from the first drop to the last.
Trust your senses. Rancid cod liver oil will have an objectionable taste and smell. It will typically leave a “scratchy sensation” in the back of the throat at the end of the tasting cycle, and may also cause gastrointestinal upset which over a period of time may result in digestive disturbances. It may also be darker in appearance. These are your senses telling you the oil has gone bad and should be avoided.
Will your cod liver oil be affected by the radiation from the Japanese nuclear accident that’s covering the Pacific Ocean?
This is another reason why it is so important for a company that produces fish oils to harvest their own fish. This ensures the source of their cod livers is always from safe fishing grounds. It is even more important when you consider the fact cod species are found in many of the world’s oceans and some fresh waters too.
The fishing grounds used by Rosita for sustainably harvesting wild cod are very distant from Japan. Regular monitoring has shown that Rosita products are not at any risk of radiation.
No other place on earth offers such splendid conditions for making superior quality cod-liver oil as the coast of Northern Norway. This is the birth place and home of cod liver oil and the people here know more about true cod liver oil than anyone, anywhere else on this planet.
However, things have changed. Although Norway is still a very remote and untouched land, our technological world has unfortunately had a negative impact on the quality of many cod liver oils. Cod liver oils now commonly undergo intensive refining and processing to produce refined, bleached, deodorized and tasteless oils. Beneficial oil-soluble ‘minor ingredients’ which should remain in the oil are removed by intensive refining. Some of the molecules present in the oil change from being in a natural and beneficial form to an unnatural and possibly toxic form. Fat-soluble vitamins are typically destroyed during this processing. The result is a “derivative cod liver oil” which is NOT the same as the parent/real cod liver oil it was derived from. This is very similar in the way that the fuels used to power our motor vehicles are simply derivatives of naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil found beneath the Earth’s surface. The crude oils and fuels derived from them are both very different!
Even more worrying is the fact that 95% of all Norwegian fish oils sold on the Norwegian market today actually come from Chile and Peru! This also means that many of the foreign companies that think they are selling Norwegian oils are not! There are only four main factories in Norway that produce cod liver oil. They produce cod liver oil for about two months during the winter season (approximately 400 tons) and store this oil in tanks. The livers used to produce their oils are actually a mixture of farmed and fresh livers. Some of these livers are also sold frozen, in bulk, to cod liver oil manufacturers in Norway and to foreigners abroad.
The cod liver oil a consumer purchases may be between 1-2 years old! The oil sitting in these containers has to be refined before being sold because it has already gone bad and the reason it has gone bad is because cod liver oil is one of the most unstable fish liver oils. You simply cannot let cod liver oil sit for long periods of time without it becoming rancid. After these cod liver oils are refined, they then add back the vitamins lost through the refining process via the use of synthetic vitamins like vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) etc.
Rosita feels very strongly about these deceitful practices and is one of the main factors that prompted them to produce, for the very first time, the genuine raw Norwegian cod liver oil that their ancestors produced and consumed.
Purchasing cod livers on the open market or from brokers can be problematic regarding the freshness, source, and even fish species the livers are obtained from. By using their freshly caught fish and not importing frozen products, Rosita believes quality is optimally maintained and the properties of the raw materials will not deteriorate during long transport, freezing etc. Therefore, to ensure total control over sustainability, quality and freshness of cod livers the Rosita team employs their own small artisan fishing boats.
The wild codfish (Gadus morhua) are sustainably fished from the crystal clear & pristine sapphire blue waters of remote Norway. The fishing grounds are located in secluded areas that are beautiful beyond description. The original fishing/harvesting method used by the fishermen was lines pulled in by hand from boats. No commercial fishing boats are used for harvesting the fish. Instead, open boats are used to harvest the fish. Rosita’s artisan boats put out sea bird-friendly long lines baited with fat slices of frozen mackerel or herrings, and the cod are caught carefully to protect numbers. Line-caught fish are a much better alternative to fish that have been caught by destructive trawling methods. Sustainable fresh cod tastes so much better, having a cleaner and sweeter taste!
The liver oil from deep-sea cod was highly prized and sought after by the ancient Norse people who considered it to be the most potent in terms of therapeutic properties. It was also known to have a more “runny” consistency. Their ancestors were actually masters of deep-sea fishing. Manufacturers of cod liver oil do not specifically fish for deep sea codfish like Rosita does. This is the type of codfish Rosita harvests. It is however grueling work.
The lively wild codfish are hauled into the boat from the icy cold waters of the Arctic Circle, and shaken off the hook. Rosita’s fishermen use their razor-sharp ceramic blades to cut across the throat and then make a longitudinal incision down the belly of the codfish which allows the entrails to spill out. The livers are then pulled out, carefully cleansed from blood, membrane and other impurities by washing in pure cold water. After this the gall-bladder is removed.
The livers are then immediately placed under proprietary conditions to maintain freshness. The entrails are plucked out. The fish guts are fed to seagulls which also commonly attracts the interest of huge white-tailed fish eagles. The fish and livers are then quickly ferried to shore. Within a very short time of returning to the docks, the fresh livers are carefully hand inspected at Rosita’s zero-emission production premises. Rosita goes to great lengths to make sure the livers are very carefully handled and never exposed to high temperatures, chemicals, or reactive metals. Rough handling of the liver can cause it to bruise, promoting degradation of the liver and lowering the quality of the oil produced. Only the undamaged, fresh livers are suitable for the finest liver oil. In accordance with ancient tradition, only livers of a specific appearance and weight are used. The quality of fish liver oil is highly dependent on the quality of the liver. Crushed and bruised livers are never used! If the cod livers are small and discolored (or have a dark appearance) this indicates a scarcity of food for the cod and the possibility they may not be healthy. The best codfish livers are large and beautifully plump, soft to the touch with an almost cream-colored appearance. This indicates the codfish have plenty of food and are “thriving”. Such livers abound with fine quality oil that appears perfectly pellucid and pale-colored with a mild fishy taste.
Once the livers are selected the next step involves “releasing” the oil from the fresh codfish livers using the exclusive “Rosita Ancient Production Method”.
Ancient Rosita Method: “Releasing” the oil from liver
There exists an ancient method for cod liver oil extraction that is extremely rare in today’s Cod Liver Oil world. The entire steps of this method remain a secret. This method produces the most precious and rare cod liver oil. The oil is produced under the total absence of heat, a process that protects its nutritional value. The liver and its oil are never subjected to chemical treatment, solvents, mechanical devices, rendering, Peter Möller’s method (steam), distillation, winterization, putrefaction, decomposition, alkali refining, bleaching and deodorization (these are dirty words to Rosita). Every precaution is taken to preserve the therapeutic properties of cod liver oil and its natural abundance of nutrients including fat-soluble vitamins, fatty acids, natural sterols, antioxidants, volatile substances and minor components.
The Ancient Norse people observed that the appearance, size and texture of fish livers vary considerably depending on the seasons. For certain seasons, the livers were beautifully plump, with a light cream color and very soft to the touch, “bursting” with oil of a superior quality. During other seasons the livers were smaller, with a reddish hue, firmer to the touch, with very low oil content. The ancient Norse people also knew both air and water temperature vary from season to season and believed the water temperature influenced the physical characteristics of the liver. As such, they discovered those plump, cream colored oily livers could revert back to their smaller, reddish form by “releasing” the oil they contain. The trigger for releasing their oil was a change in temperature which mimicked specific seasonal changes in water temperature. This was achieved by transferring freshly removed cream colored fish livers to warmer dwellings which had to be at a slightly greater temperature than the cold ocean temperature the livers were previously exposed to. The livers would then naturally and gradually release the raw pale golden oil contained in their cells without any intervention whatsoever! As the oil is released, the livers shrink and revert back to their smaller, reddish appearance. This gave rise to the basic oil extraction principle that the ancients went about perfecting and that Rosita uses today. Nature does all the work, not decay, not decomposition, and definitely not heat, steam, chemicals, solvents or any form of refining.
Many companies use heat to maximize the quantity of oil extracted from the livers but at the high cost of accelerated oxidation and damage to heat-sensitive nutrients. Such procedures may result in quantitative improvements but not qualitative. No mechanical devices are ever used during the extraction process, only the beautiful ancient principles given to us by nature herself.
Rosita adds a modern twist by carrying out the production process under oxygen–free conditions and low light conditions. The liver and its oil never come into contact with reactive metals, plastics etc. The livers are also never frozen at any stage of production – the coldest temperature that the livers are subjected to mimics the lowest temperature that the wild codfish liver is exposed to in the ocean during a specific season.
Immediately after extraction, the oil is very lightly filtered, with the help of gravity only, at low temperatures. This simply removes particles of liver tissue, without refining the oil in any way. In contrast, conventional procedures remove many of the healthy fat soluble compounds, and therefore affect the nutritional quality of the oil.
Tiny amounts of the plant Rosemary and full spectrum natural (GMO-free) vitamin E (not isolated vitamin E) are added to maintain the freshness. The oil is then bottled in amber glass to extend its shelf life and freshness by protecting it against light deterioration. The bottling takes place at very low temperatures and in the absence of oxygen. The end result is 100% unadulterated Wild & Raw EVCLO, which contains no synthetic nutrients. We believe it is the most authentic product available.
Samples of this oil are also sent for analyses to one of the European Institutes that Rosita is affiliated with. The bottles are then carefully packed and shipped to points around the globe.
Rosita handcrafted cod liver oil is produced without polluting the environment, including the air and water. Each batch of Rosita handcrafted cod liver oil can actually be traced back to the fishing grounds where the fish were harvested!
Rosita EVCLO is produced in small batches. Each bottle of EVCLO is made fresh to order which is indeed a very rare practice.
Rosita EVCLO is a sustainable product and Rosita follows ancient fishing practices which also dictate the time of day the fish can be harvested. The Norwegian government has also set quotas for the long term survival of wild Atlantic cod in Norway. In addition, it is important to note that Norway has long, harsh winters and some of the most rugged waters in the world with steep mountains lining the deep fjords, rocky coasts, and vicious waves at times. These waves can be very dangerous and so great care is required. Obviously, when conditions get too bad the fishing and harvesting of codfish has to be postponed. As a result, there will be ebbs and flows in production of EVCLO.
Part of the delay in releasing Rosita EVCLO was to put in measures that will meet demand and still be true to the Ancient Norse process for the production of genuine wild & raw cod liver oil. Rosita absolutely refuses to cut corners but have instead expanded their production capabilities with more efficient measures such as a modern bottling facility and a greater number of fishing boats.
Rosita EVCLO does not contain any flavorings nor does Rosita plan on adding them in the future. The taste of EVCLO varies with the seasons and other biological factors. In general, EVCLO has a mild fishy and fresh taste and is easy to take even for children. For those with an aversion to the taste of fresh fish oil Rosita is working on producing EVCLO in capsule form.
Rosita wants to be true to their ancient ancestors who never consumed marine oils with added flavorings. The same holds true for many of the hunter-gatherer cultures.
Rosita EVCLO is will be available from Corganic.com in the US and Canada. In Australia EVCLO is available from Kitsa’s Kitchen. In Europe EVCLO is available directly from Rosita. Rosita ships from Norway to all European countries. Additional distribution sites are being set up worldwide and will be posted on EVCLO.com as they come on board.
Proper storage is critical to conserving the nutritional properties of Rosita EVCLO. Light accelerates the rate of oxidation, causing oil to go rancid more quickly. So does heat. When using this product keep it away from direct sources of heat and sunlight. Once you receive your Rosita EVCLO please refrigerate your bottle/bottles (if you are going to consume the product fairly soon). For longer-term storage, unopened bottles can be stored in the freezer for improved shelf-life. Once opened consume within 2-3 months. Overall, the oil must be kept dark and cold. The oil may become cloudy and thicken when refrigerated or frozen. This is no cause for concern. Gently shake before use. Please also see “Analytical Testing Results” for shelf-life testing.
European laws are now very stringent with regards to contamination of fish body and fish liver oils, and quite rightly so. Unfortunately, deception is a common occurrence and too many companies have been selling inferior oils which are detrimental to the health of adults and children.
Rosita takes testing VERY seriously and uses a number of leading European Institutes to test their oils (Europe has very strict policies). Some of these include the “Institute of Aquaculture”, a leading internationally recognized aquaculture research institution based within the University of Stirling, Scotland, (United Kingdom); and a number of independent Norwegian laboratories and institutions with great expertise in marine raw materials and products. Rosita oils have been tested for Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including pesticides (such as DDT), industrial chemicals (such as polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs) and unintentional by-products of industrial processes (such as dioxins and furans). They have also been tested for heavy metals and microbiological contamination. The test results for Rosita EVCLO have consistently come back with very low levels of contaminants, and are fully compliant with stringent European Commission and WHO rules on environmental pollutants. The deep fjords of Northern Norway are some of the cleanest and purest ocean waters in the world.
Rosita oils have also been analyzed by Universities and Government-Linked research Scientists, some of whom are involved in monitoring the quality of fish oils. Rosita oils are also currently been used in scientific research at leading European Universities.
How can you ensure that your EVCLO is not rancid both upon purchase as well as later, when it has been at home? What is the proper way to store EVCLO so that it does not become rancid?
Rosita has gone to great lengths and expense to create an antioxidant package that will keep EVCLO fresh during transit, storage and consumption. Due to cod liver oil’s propensity to go rancid very quickly Rosita drew upon the expertise of scientists, researchers and university Professors to determine the proper antioxidants that were both effective, and most importantly to Rosita completely natural. Only tiny amounts of natural antioxidants are added which is simply the bare minimum required to stabilize the oil. This is actually very important because too much antioxidant can actually promote oxidation. Temperatures are kept very low during bottling, no reactive metal ever comes in contact with the livers or the oil, production is carried out in the absence of oxygen, the time between catching the cod and bottling the oil is very short, and smaller bottles are used to ensure the oil would be consumed long before it goes rancid. EVCLO can be shipped without dry ice or cold packs however once received it should be stored in the refrigerator. Unopened bottles can be kept in the freezer for long-term storage. Once you receive your bottle of Rosita EVCLO, it is preferable (but not essential) that you leave your EVCLO under cold-storage for 12-24 hours prior to opening the bottle and consuming the oil. Remember to gently shake the bottle before use.
In the presence of oxygen, light and heat, the oil will become rancid (oxidize), developing undesirable flavors and odors. Cod liver oil is particularly rich in healthy, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, but this also makes it particularly prone to becoming rancid as a result of oxidative damage. When the polyunsaturated fatty acids become rancid, they create a complex mixture of small molecules that have strong flavors and odors. This is what gives cod liver oil its undesirable taste and smell (other contributors may include the presence of certain amines). If cod liver oil is rancid, with an undesirable taste and smell, you may be less likely to consume it as a result of your natural instincts (unless the oils have added flavorings to mask their strong taste and smell).
Many local fishermen from northern Norway recall this type of rancid cod liver oil. At school the bottle of cod liver oil was placed on the window sill and left in the light and heat. Many times, the top of the bottle was not even secured properly. It would turn brown and rancid with an unpleasant odor and taste and typically left a “scratchy sensation” in the back of the throat.
Is there a certain certification, quality or control test EVCLO goes through to authenticate your claims?
Rosita fully supports quality control measures. They have been working hard to persuade the Norwegian authorities to implement stricter quality control guidelines. Authenticity is also a major issue. For example, any company can say their product is made from cod livers but may actually be derived from a mixture of fish species, and in some instances cod livers are never used! This has also been a major problem within the Krill Oil Industry. Even more disturbing is the fact that 95% of all fish oil sold on the Norwegian market today comes from Chile and Peru, but sold as Norwegian oils. The production of fish oil has led to serious environmental degradation and health problems along the coast of Peru. Emissions from fish oil factories go straight into the sea, destroying marine life. Emissions have also led to major health problems for the local people. Rosita feels very strongly about deceitful practices and misleading advertising claims and is one of the factors that prompted them to produce genuine Norwegian cod liver oil.
Rosita has permission to market their wild & raw cod liver oil as genuine “Extra-Virgin” simply because absolutely no heat, steam, chemical treatments or solvents are ever used during their ancient production process.
A world leading researcher on marine oils, Gjermund Vogt, recently said about extra-virgin ratfish liver oils and shark liver oils produced at ECO-Marine: “A positive impression of the oils is that they are Norwegian and they have qualities that no other oils have.” Professor Livar Frøyland, who is a member of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM), commented about the naturally occurring levels of vitamin D3 found in extra-virgin liver oils produced at ECO-Marine saying it was absolutely fantastic. He also added that most other liver oils contain little, or no, natural vitamin D3 and added vitamin D2.
Rosita is passionate about their genuine and very rare oils. They are involved in every stage of cod liver oil production, from fishing & harvesting the wild codfish, to removing the livers, separating the liver oil and bottling the final product. Rosita has complete control, from the sea to the consumer, which is the only way to ensure a superior quality and authentic product. This unique approach gives the consumer added security and reassurance when they purchase the Rosita Real Foods brand.
Rosita EVCLO is the first fresh, wild & raw cod liver oil to be made available to the health consumer. It is a true revolution in the cod liver oil world. Rosita cod liver oils are in exactly the same form as you would find them in the liver of a “living” codfish. Just as a codfish begins the process of decay and spoilage the moment it is removed from the ocean and dies, so does its liver and liver oils. Freshly produced raw cod liver oil (just “released” by the liver) is colorless or has a light golden color and a mild taste. When exposed to air, light and heat, it turns brown and rancid with an unpleasant taste and odor. To limit oxidation and prevent deterioration of these fresh and completely unrefined oils, Rosita adds tiny amounts of full spectrum natural (GMO-free) vitamin E (not isolated vitamin E) and the plant Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Rosemary, native to the Mediterranean region, has been used as a medicinal herb since 500 B.C. It has long been associated with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and used to aid digestion (drunk as a tea), improve circulation, strengthen memory, and heal wounds. Rosemary is often used in Greek and Italian cooking. Rosita has tried using the other common antioxidants such as cinnamon and clove oil. Although these have antioxidant activity, rosemary to date has produced the best results. In addition, cinnamon and clove oil mask the natural taste of fresh cod liver oil and are far too overpowering.
One method the ancient Norse people (including the Vikings) used to obtain cod liver oil was by steaming fresh livers which were placed on birch tree branches. Birch-bark is well known for its antioxidant activity. Birch-bark was even dried and ground by the Vikings and used as a very nutritious (and antioxidant rich) addition to the diet.
Image #1 shows two bottles of wild and raw extra virgin cod liver oil freshly extracted using an ancient Viking technique that utilizes no heat, chemicals, solvents, pressure or liver decomposition. Extremely small amounts of natural vitamin E and Rosemary have been added to the bottle on the left. No antioxidants have been added to the bottle on the right.
Image #2 shows the same two bottles after sitting on a bench at room temperature for 24 hours. The bottle on the right is starting to turn a darker color. The pen in the background is still visible.
Image #3 again shows the same two bottles after sitting on a bench at room temperature for three days. The bottle on the left containing very small amounts of Rosemary and vitamin E is still as fresh as the day it was extracted while the bottle on the right has accelerated the process of going rancid. The pen in the background is no longer visible and the oil has gained a pungent smell.
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Your website claims that you are “reviving an ancient fish liver oil extraction process, unknown to many, that predates the Viking era.” Will you please share more about this ancient process and where you learned about it?
Within the Rosita team are old-time Norwegian fishermen who are expert seamen. They are skillful sailors from childhood with a deep history of fishing in their families that dates back many, many generations. Some of these artisan fishermen still eat raw fish livers to fight off colds! They are very knowledgeable in the production and grading of cod liver oil. Their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents all knew about the rare and authentic cod liver oil used by the people of the Old Norse culture for its therapeutic and strengthening properties. This form of cod liver oil was produced using a precious Ancient extraction method, unknown in today’s cod liver oil world, which allows the fresh livers to naturally “release” the raw golden oil they contain without the need for any heat, steam, chemical treatment, rendering, pressure etc. Rosita uses the exact same methods handed down to them from generation to generation in a very similar way that a secret family recipe is handed down through many generations.
Rosita was using this rare ancient extraction method to produce small quantities of genuine ratfish (Chimaera monstrosa Linnaeus, 1758) liver oil mainly for friends and personal use. The Nordic Vikings had termed this oil “Gold of the Ocean” because of its unique properties. Rosita was also producing very small quantities of cod liver oil which they consumed during the very cold winters in northern Norway, especially during the period of polar nights which the Norwegians call Mørketid (where the sun never rises throughout the day). They particularly enjoyed dipping wild cod (that they had harvested, frozen and dried in the frosty air) into the fresh cod liver oil they had extracted – much like their ancestors did.
The verbal buzz about the rare and unique qualities of their oils passed from one person to the next and demand for their oil grew. As the demand increased Rosita decided to set up a company “Rosita Ratfishoil®” and use their rare ancient extraction technique to produce these unique oils for the general public. The next step was to contact the Norwegian government who were fascinated at the concept of an “Ancient Norwegian Fish Liver Oil”.
Having received the necessary permission, they then began to sell their ratfish liver oil through the internet. Being very disappointed with the quality and forms of cod liver oil available, and astonished to see the amount of disinformation written about fish liver oils and their history, they considered offering authentic cod liver oil to the general public. After a strong prompting from the US-based company Organic 3, Inc., they finally made the definite decision to produce cod liver oil. The Norwegian authorities also granted Rosita permission to market their products as genuine “Extra-Virgin” after having thoroughly reviewed their process.
To meet greater demand for their products Rosita increased their number of fishing boats, as well as setting up special production premises which ensure that their oils are never exposed to the damaging effects of oxygen, light, heat and reactive metals.
Rosita Real Foods™ Artisan EVCLO is the rarest and most authentic cod liver oil made available to the general public for the very first time. This is a product of the same fishing waters used by the Old Norse people, including the hearty Vikings, and the same extraction process they used to secure fish liver oils for health and vitality. Rosita EVCLO goes back to rediscover our lost ancient traditions.
Retinyl palmitate (some manufacturers simply call it “Palmitate”) is the main storage form of vitamin A in all fish livers, and is actually a combination of retinol and palmitic acid. Small amounts of “free retinol” may also be present in the liver.
With regards to vitamin A analysis of fish liver oils, there is no need to measure levels of palmitate (the predominant form) and retinol (the minor form) separately. When a fish liver oil sample is sent away for analytical testing to measure the total level of vitamin A, the laboratory will take the sample of liver oil and break all forms of vitamin A present in the liver oil (including the palmitate form) down to the retinol form. The next step is to measure the amount of retinol present and this measurement is therefore a measure of the total vitamin A content for that sample of fish liver oil.
Definitely not. Conventional fish oil refining steps include degumming, bleaching, deodorization, neutralization and exposure to high temperatures. Although it is possible to optimize refining steps to reduce the loss of nutrients, these processes commonly degrade the oil, damage the fragile unsaturated fatty acids, and remove the oils natural flavors, colors and nutrients. High-temperature distillation may result in the loss of volatile nutrients and negatively affect levels of vitamins, cholesterol, unsaponifiable compounds, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They may also result in a distorted ratio of the omega 3-long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (DHA and EPA). Rosita believes that such oils are not natural and do not resemble the form of oil their ancestors once consumed.
Rosita handcrafted cod liver oil is 100% fresh raw cod liver fat produced without ever subjecting the liver or its oil to chemical treatments, solvents, rendering, steam, Peter Möller’s method, distillation, decomposition, putrefaction, alkali refining, bleaching, winterization and deodorization. Utilizing a natural extraction process first observed by the ancient Vikings, the Rosita process naturally exudes all of the oil from the liver. The resultant oils are then extensively analyzed for organic contaminants and rancidity using one of the European Institutes that Rosita is affiliated with.
The terms “virgin” and “extra-virgin” are very different. The term “virgin” is used very loosely within the industry and has no precise definition. There are fish oil manufacturers who extract their oil at temperatures of approximately 212°F (100°C) and still call their final product virgin! This results in oil which is anything but natural. In many instances, the consumer is not aware of the quality & freshness of their cod liver oil and whether the oil is from genuine cod livers.
Rosita has been granted permission by the Norwegian authorities to market their cod liver oil as extra-virgin. They are also the only company who know of and use the very rare “Rosita Ancient Production Method” which preserves valuable nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins, natural sterols, antioxidants, and “minor ingredients” and produces authentic “living” oil. Absolutely no heat, steam, rendering, chemical treatments, alkali refining, bleaching, winterization and deodorization are ever used.
Rosita EVCLO is genuine Norwegian Cod Liver Oil which has been sustainably produced using ancient methods and craftsmanship which are rare in today’s cod liver oil world. The result is Extra-Virgin Cod Liver Oil of exceptional quality, which is just as pure and authentic as it was for their Norse ancestors hundreds of years ago.
The rarest of all methods employed by the ancient Norse people, and unknown in today’s cod liver oil world, is the ancient extraction method revived and used by Rosita for the very first time to produce their oils. This ancient method allows the fresh livers to naturally “release” the raw golden oil they contain without any intervention whatsoever.
There was also another method employed by the ancient Norse Vikings which was reserved only for ratfish and sharks but unsuitable for codfish whose liver and oil rapidly deteriorate and become rancid. Rosita replicated this process for the very first time for all to see (below). The method involved hanging a ratfish or shark up by its tail.
After a certain period of time has elapsed, pale/golden colored oil from its large oily liver will start to accumulate and drip from the end of its nose.
The ancient Norse people and Vikings would collect this very special oil and consume it during times of stress and whenever they saw fit to do so. The oil is remarkably clear, pale/golden-colored and sweet smelling.
Rosita’s ancestors consumed seal and whale blubber, and other fish liver oils which were procured using the same methods used to obtain the oil from cod livers. An example is shark liver oil which was probably consumed long before cod liver oil. Shark liver oil is a very ancient remedy. The oils obtained from specific shark species had special therapeutic and body-strengthening properties and were very different to the shark liver oils currently available to the consumer today. Shark liver oil has considerably greater stability than cod liver oil and this may be, in part, due to the lower content of polyunsaturated fatty acids present in shark liver oil and the greater levels of antioxidants. Cod liver oil is therefore much more prone to rancidity and the old-time Norwegian fishermen knew this. When they wanted to produce cod liver oil for their family (and not for export purposes) they treated the livers from cod in a very different way compared to the livers derived from shark which could simply be thrown into large oak vats, or skins, and left there for a period of time without damaging, to a considerable extent, the oil.
Imagine there is a tap connected to the liver of a “living” wild codfish that is freely swimming in the deep ocean. If you turned “on” this tap, the raw oil that would come out of it would be a pale/golden color.
The real oil which is contained in the cells of fresh codfish liver is pale/golden-colored and at times nearly colorless. It will also be anywhere from clear to cloudy in appearance depending on a number of biological factors. This should not be confused with the pale oils obtained by refining which are very different.
“Only the children from fishermen’s families consumed the really fresh and tasty pale/golden colored cod liver oil. Most of the foreigners remember the rancid taste of cod liver oil simply because they had no chance of consuming the fresh pale/golden colored cod liver oil which was kept by the Norwegian fishermen for their children.”
They are never wasted! The codfish that Rosita keeps are used in a variety of ways. One traditional way which has been carried out for hundreds of years involves removing the cod viscera, beheading the cod and hanging them on large wooden racks where they are left to dry in the frosty air. They are not salted or smoked. The cod flesh does not decompose and spoil, but simply dries slowly in the sun and wind from late winter until spring. This way it still retains its key nutrients. This dried cod, also known as “stockfish”, sustained the Vikings on their long sea voyages. Pieces of this dried fish can simply be broken off and chewed.
The cod tongues, cut and fried, are a great local delicacy with a lovely gelatinous feel. A rich greasy broth of cod liver and onions is made from the left over cod livers that have not satisfied Rosita’s requirements to be used for cod liver oil production. A traditional dish which is much more common in the rural coastal northern areas of Norway than among the more urban centers is cod “mølje”. This dish is prepared by boiling the cod, cod livers and pale orange cod roe in water. These are then mixed with fresh cod liver oil and eaten. A true Viking feast! And very tasty! This dish is also remarkably rich in vitamin D. Magritt Brustad, head of department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, studied the traditional dietary dish of mølje. She measured the vitamin D levels of fish eaters before and after having a meal of cod, livers and roes. The results were startling. Those who had low vitamin D levels had a measurable increase by eating only one meal of cod, liver and roe. When researchers studied vitamin D levels of a population in Andenes (a village in the Vesterålen district of Nordland county, Northern Norway), they discovered that they actually had equally high levels of vitamin D in the winter as they had in the summer! Holy Mølje!
Rosita’s philosophy is to use a very ancient and extremely rare method for cod liver oil extraction. A method used hundreds, and possibly thousands of years ago by the people of the Old Norse culture. The result is the first ever Ancient Cod Liver Oil to come out of Norway, and one that is “true to their ancestors.” Rosita handcrafted cod liver oil is a “living oil” derived from codfish that are wild caught, sustainably fished and harvested by Rosita themselves. The form, appearance and nutritional content of cod liver oil produced using this ancient method is identical to what is present in the liver oil of a living wild codfish. Rosita makes no attempt to alter the nutrient levels. Nature dictates the nutrient levels in their oils. That is how it was for their ancestors and that is how Rosita believes it should always be. Some of the world’s leading experts on marine oils have been amazed as to the quality and authenticity of Rosita’s extra-virgin oils.
Rosita handcrafted cod liver oil reflects our need to preserve tradition and be in harmony with nature. Everything is done with respect for nature and the beauty of returning to our ancient traditions through the use of artisanal methods, handcraftsmanship and attention to detail. Rosita EVCLO goes back to rediscover these lost but precious values.
100% Wild & Raw Extra-Virgin Cod (Gadus Morhua) Liver Oil.
(plus tiny amounts of rosemary & natural vitamin E)*
Consult with your physician before using doses substantially higher than recommended, or taking this product if you are pregnant or lactating, diabetic, allergic to fish or iodine, using blood thinners, anticipate surgery, have a diagnosed cardiovascular condition, bleeding or immune system disorder. Keep out of reach of children.
If you or your child has never consumed fish or fish oil, or if you suspect a food allergy, consult your doctor prior to using a fish body oil/fish liver oil product. As an additional insurance, you could also rub a small amount of Cod Liver Oil into a small area on the skin, such as the lower leg.
Please note: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition.
Genuine unrefined EVCLO was used by the coastal people of northern Norway for its beneficial effects. They consumed it and also rubbed it into their skin.
Internally: Consume 1 teaspoon daily. Can be taken on its own or mixed with foods which are at a temperature not greater than 37ºC (98.6ºF). Why not try making “mølje” – a traditional northern Norwegian fish dish which is very nutritious and remarkably rich in vitamin D! Poach the white meat of cod, cod liver and a slice of grainy, pale orange cod roe (preferably from sustainably caught wild codfish) in salty water with a chopped onion. Remove from the water and mix ingredients together in a bowl. Add Rosita EVCLO to the mixture and enjoy! Great for topping up vitamin D levels for the winter.
Externally: Not as a substitute for internal use, but it can also be rubbed into the skin. The oil can also be used topically for wounds and as a skin elixir.
The Rosita family resides along the spectacular Helgeland coast of northern Norway characterized by magnificent unspoiled landscape, spectacular mountains, thousands of islands and pristine clear waters. The majestic & legendary Seven Sisters mountain range looms over the Helgeland coast. Here you can experience the mystical Midnight sun, magical Northern Lights, and even see ancient Viking burial sites.
The exact location of the fishing grounds is kept secret, but the areas and the time of fishing are in accordance with ancient tradition. Rosita always aims to follow the ancient practices of their Norse ancestors using sustainable methods.
Is EVCLO gluten free, dairy free, soy free & processed on equipment that is gluten free, dairy free and soy protein free?
Yes. It is also GMO-free and free of all known common allergens (except fish).
Cod liver oil has traditionally been consumed as part of the diet, in particular, by people living in northern coastal areas of Norway. It was crucial to survival, especially the cold, dark and stormy conditions. Northern Europeans used cod liver oil to protect them from the cold. It was also said to relieve such complaints as rheumatism, aching joints, and stiff muscles. At the beginning of the 20th century, scientists established that cod liver oil was antirachitic, and so mothers would give it to their children. Modern scientific studies lend credence to the historical views.
It turns out cod liver oil is a nutrient-rich wholefood. Unadulterated cod liver oil is a time-honored source of vitamins A, D3, and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The dose of vitamin A in cod liver oil is moderate and the quality of vitamin A is excellent. Vitamin A is essential for bone growth, night vision, cellular growth, health of the endothelial cells (cells lining the body’s interior surface), regulation of cell growth and division, testicular and ovarian function, and immune system health (by stimulating the production and activity of white blood cells). Vitamin D is a unique nutrient that acts as a hormone with a range of physiological functions. It exerts its activity by binding to cellular vitamin D receptors. Cells of the immune system, especially those of the intestine, have abundant vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D therefore has an impact on the immune system, playing an important role in regulating the immune system. It also plays important roles in bone health, mineral homeostasis, cell growth, muscle function, nervous system function, skin function, control of the renin-angiotensin system, control of insulin secretion, regulation of apoptosis, and controlling infections. High doses of vitamin D monotherapy needs precaution for potential adverse effects and should be substituted with a natural source of vitamin D in combination with synergistic vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, such as cod liver oil.
DHA and EPA are particularly important nutritional components. While most “traditional” omega-3 sources on the market contain little DHA, Rosita’s EVCLO contains a high proportion of DHA and excellent levels of EPA. Both DHA and EPA are concentrated in the phospholipids of cell membranes throughout the human body, but especially in the grey matter of the brain, heart, retina, and testes. These fatty acids have also been shown to have hypo-lipidemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, vasodilatory, and anti-arrhythmic properties.
Why is the Gadus Morhua species of codfish “the prime and only choice for the production of a truly authentic medicinal grade cod liver oil?”
Ever since cod liver oil became a popular remedy the livers of several species of Gadus have been used indiscriminately for its production. Even many fishermen are not able to discriminate between them. Gadus morhua which lives in the colder waters and deeper sea regions was the codfish species traditionally used by Rosita’s ancestors for producing truly authentic medicinal grade cod liver oil. Gadus morhua is considered a delicacy in Norway, with a very special texture that is glassy, smooth and firm. It also has a richer taste to ordinary cod and falls apart on the plate in large creamy flakes when cooked. Liver oils from other types of fish, for example halibut liver oil, are higher in fat-soluble vitamins A and D, however they do not have the documented healing capabilities as the Gadus Morhua species of cod. Whether it is a certain ratio of nutrients or some yet to be discovered nutrient is unknown. ‘Cod Liver Oil and Chemistry’ by F. P. Moller or ‘The Three Kinds of Cod Liver Oil’ by L.J. De Jongh are two books written in the late 1800’s detailing the dramatic healing effects of cod liver from the Gadus Morhua species of cod. Because Gadus Morhua is so prevalent in the Lofoten region of Norway it became the hot bed of cod liver oil production in the 1800’s and remains so to this day.
This is a very interesting question. The livers of certain other types of fish yield oil which is even richer in fat-soluble vitamins than cod liver oil. For example, halibut liver oil is a richer source of vitamin A and vitamin D compared to cod liver oil. Although these other types of fish livers oils are richer in fat-soluble vitamin content compared to cod liver oil, they do not have the documented healing capabilities as the fish liver oil derived from the Gadus Morhua species of cod. This suggests the possibility that there is something more than just these fat-soluble vitamins which contributes to the health benefits of Gadus Morhua liver oil.
The fats in EVCLO are in their natural triglyceride (TG) form which is what you would expect from completely unrefined cod liver oil. Scientific research confirms oils in their triglyceride form exhibit greater absorption over the synthetic ethyl ester (EE) form. This also means levels of EPA and DHA will be greater in those consuming triglyceride-based fish oils than those consuming ethyl esters. Please also note that the natural triglycerides present in Rosita oils are natural triglycerides and not re-esterified triglycerides which are basically ethyl esters that are reassembled back into triglycerides. Rosita does not have to recreate the natural triglyceride form because their oils are completely unprocessed.
How will you sell the product? Will there be local distributors or all through the website directly?
There will be local distribution of Rosita EVCLO through practitioners, retailers, web distribution and buying groups. Those chosen to distribute EVCLO will all share a passion for genuine unrefined Norse cod liver oil produced using very traditional methods.
Fish oils including fish liver oils for human consumption contain the highly polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The levels present vary from species to species and also with geographical origin. Fish originating from South America and North Africa have higher omega-3 fatty acid content than fish caught in Northern Europe. Fish from the Southern hemisphere have more EPA than DHA. This is the opposite to genuine cod liver oil which either has a 1:1 ratio of DHA:EPA, or a slightly greater ratio in favor of DHA.
Purified omega-3 fatty acids, in particular EPA and DHA, are commonly added to a whole range of supplements including fish oils. They commonly have an unnatural and distorted EPA:DHA ratio. Purified fish oils may have a toxic effect in the body and current research is beginning to support this. These supplements are not natural. There is absolutely nothing natural about them. Increasing long-chain omega-3 intake should not involve taking “purified” omega-3 fatty acids. Instead, a person should consume more fresh oily fish and fish in general (preferably wild and not farmed).
Does the ancient method employed by Rosita negatively affect the nutritional composition of the resultant cod liver oil?
The levels of nutrients (including fat-soluble vitamins A & D and fatty acids) present in the liver of a “living” wild codfish are not significantly different when compared to the oil obtained using the ancient methods employed by Rosita. And experiments have been performed to prove this. Nature dictates the nutrient levels in the Rosita oils, which is exactly how it was for their ancestors hundreds of years ago.
Codfish are known as thermal conformers. This means that their body temperature equals the surrounding water temperature. The deep waters that are home to the wild codfish that Rosita harvests are at a temperature of approximately 2°C to -1°C, and colder. So by refrigerating your Rosita EVCLO you are actually mimicking the temperatures that a living wild codfish liver is exposed to!
Remember, Rosita EVCLO is a raw fresh wholefood. In the same way that many other raw fresh wholefoods (like raw butter for example) require refrigeration to maintain freshness, so does Rosita EVCLO.