ORIVO has, in collaboration with GC Rieber Oils, initiated a project with SINTEF Ocean and the University of Nantes to develop an authenticity testing method for fish oil concentrates. The method will be able to analyse any given concentrated omega-3 supplement in the ORIVO lab, and within minutes determine the species and geographic origin of the product. ORIVO has already established this methodology as an existing service for natural omega-3 supplements. Based on products from the Norwegian industry leader GC Rieber Oils, different technological approaches are now being tested for implementation of this same service for omega-3 concentrates. The aim is to have a validated technology ready in 2-3 years - for the benefit of the entire industry and customers worldwide.
The present way of proving the origin of finished omega-3 concentrate products is based on paper documentation and raw material testing, since no general third party verification methods are available to test and verify authenticity of the finished products. Development of such a method will increase sustainability, consumer safety and prevent loss of market shares for honest and responsible producers.
This is something that GC Rieber Oils, a Norwegian producer of omega-3 concentrates and ORIVO, a Norwegian company dedicated to authenticity testing of marine ingredients, wish to change. In collaboration with two significant and distinguished research institutions, SINTEF Ocean (Norway) and the University of Nantes (France), the companies have started a project where the aim is to investigate the potential of several highly advanced laboratory technologies to be used for authentication of omega-3 concentrates. The knowledge developed in this feasibility study shall form the basis for a larger R&D-project, where the goal will be to develop a 100% precise laboratory test for verifying the origin of any product based on omega-3 concentrates. The ambition is that the technology, which will be developed in close collaboration with the industry, will be ready for the market within 2-3 years.
“We want to take our deep commitment to sustainable and responsible sourcing of fish oil one step further by participating in this project and develop a technology for authentication for omega-3 concentrates. Verifying that the omega-3 concentrates found in the supplements market meet the highest demands for quality, sustainability and food safety is a benefit to our customers and the entire industry”, says Jan Roger Bjerkestrand, CEO of GC Rieber Oils.
For technical reasons, it is not straightforward to decide the origin of the altered fat molecules, which concentrated omega-3 products are composed of. In this project, the hope is that using state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance and isotopic measurement technology will make this possible. The collective expertise and experience in the project group regarding authentication of food, advanced measurement technology and omega-3 concentrate processing is expected to lead to a successful outcome.
“Without the cooperation of the omega-3 industry, this project would not be possible. We are impressed by the commitment that GC Rieber Oils, representing a major player in the omega-3 supplements industry, has to sustainability and responsibility. This makes them a valued participant in this project”, says Svein Erik Haugmo, CEO of ORIVO, and adds that GC Rieber Oils has been supportive to ORIVO´s development ever since the establishment in 2013.
The project is partially funded by the Norwegian Regional Research Funds (RFF Midt-Norge).