Fresh cod liver oil will go rancid rapidly. Why? Because cod liver oil contains high levels of long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Cod liver oil made from 100% cod livers from the Northern hemisphere is actually richer in DHA than EPA. EVCLO is completely unprocessed, unheated, and unrefined. However, this also makes it susceptible to lipid oxidation (rancidity).
Fish oils that are in an advanced stage of rancidity will actually typically have normal levels of peroxide and anisidine values. However, levels of secondary oxidation products including the toxic chemical malondialdehyde (MDA) can be raised. MDA has been detected in cod liver oils without added antioxidants. MDA is a toxic substance and has been associated with chromosomal aberrations in cultured mammalian cells. It has also been shown to be mutagenic in experimental studies. Quantitative measurement of malondialdehyde in cod liver oil can be achieved using the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay.
Minimizing Lipid Oxidation
Rosita takes every step to minimize lipid oxidation. Their rare ancient extraction technique is applied to “capture” the oil from the fresh wild livers as soon as the boat arrives back to Rosita’s premises. Once the oil is produced, it is immediately bottled under oxygen free, low temperature and low light conditions. Rosita goes one step further with ensuring freshness of their oils. Most companies have their cod liver oil stored in large containers or “ready” bottled. However, Rosita produces their cod liver oil only when a distributor has placed their order for extra-virgin cod liver oil. Once the order is placed, Rosita prepares the boats for codfish harvesting in the wild pristine Norwegian waters. No other company would ever consider such a costly practice. There is absolutely no substitute for the time honored practice of going out and harvesting the wild codfish and choosing the correct livers. Only then can you ensure a fresh authentic product.
Rosita’s Search for Natural Antioxidants
To protect all the beneficial properties of their totally unprocessed cod liver oil, Rosita researched for approximately 2-3 years on the use of natural antioxidants. Some of the commonly used antioxidants produced by the food industry and used in marine oils include Cinnamon Oil, Clove oil, Orange oil, Lemon oil, Spearmint and Peppermint oil etc. However, the problem with these industry antioxidants is that they alter the organoleptic properties of a fresh unprocessed oil. They typically overpower the true taste of the oil and may also alter its properties.
The amount of antioxidants used by Rosita is tiny but using antioxidants at higher levels can have a pro-oxidant effect. For example, research suggests that Cinnamon can exhibit both antioxidant and pro-oxidant activities which are dose dependent.
In fact, Rosita originally tried using cinnamon oil but testing showed that it was having a pro-oxidant effect. As a result, Rosita searched for other antioxidants and came across a very special and natural form of Rosemary.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is native to the Mediterranean region, and 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 (as a tea), improve circulation, strengthen memory, and heal wounds. Rosemary is often used in Greek and Italian cooking. What makes Rosita very different is their use of the highest quality Rosemary, which is completely free of any chemicals. This is the same form of Rosemary that is found in the mountainous areas and is used in the best Mediterranean cooking. It is also the same form of Rosemary that the bees use to make Rosemary honey (a speciality in Greece).
Rosita also chose to add natural vitamin E. That is when Rosita encountered problems. The majority of so-called natural vitamin E on the market in not natural. Rosita took approximately 3 years to develop the genuine natural vitamin E they wanted. Rosita uses natural and not isolated vitamin E in their EVCLO. The vitamin E they use contains the full spectrum of naturally occurring tocopherols (d-alpha, d-beta, d-gamma, d-delta) that are naturally found from eating foods rich in vitamin E like nuts, seeds, fish, leafy greens etc. Simply put, Rosita obtains their vitamin E from raw plant foods that are rich in Vitamin E.
Other companies remove the mixed tocopherols from foods. But, do you know what they do then? They convert the mixed tocopherols to alpha-tocopherol because they believe alpha-tocopherol is the active form. Do you know how this can be done? One method involves reacting the mixed tocopherols with substances such as formaldehyde, hydrogen chloride and using a reducing agent. There is absolutely no way Rosita is going to all the lengths to produce a pure ancient product and then add synthetic nutrients to their precious oil.
How Much Vitamin E and Rosemary Does Rosita Add to EVCLO?
Rosita found that to protect the oil from rancidity, only tiny amounts of rosemary and natural vitamin E were required. How much does Rosita add? In one whole bottle (150 ml) of extra-virgin cod liver oil, Rosita adds just 1 drop of these natural antioxidants. Just one tiny drop.
The Vikings Used Antioxidants Too
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. One method the ancient Norse people (including the Vikings) used to obtain cod liver oil involved the use of birch tree branches. Birch tree branches were thought to have a protective effect on the oil.
Rosita is a company passionate about their rare and unique oils. The Rosita team comes from a very long line of traditional artisan fishermen who love doing things the ancient way. Their aim is to bring back ancient traditions and ancient foods. They are the only company to produce authentic ancient cod liver oil the way it was made by their Norse ancestors hundreds, and possibly thousands of years ago. There is absolutely no other cod liver oil available that is comparable. Their oil is very precious to them and only the very best will do for their ancient oil.