Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content and Oxidation State of Fish Oil Supplements in New Zealand

Sci Rep. 2017 May 3;7(1):1488. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01470-4.


Forty-seven fish oil products available on the New Zealand market were analyzed for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content, as well as for oxidative status in a collaborative effort by several analytical laboratories. Of the tested products, 72%, 86% and 77% complied with voluntary industry-set maximum limits on Peroxide Value (PV), para-Anisidine Value (p-AV), and TOTOX, respectively. 91% of the products complied with EPA/DHA content claims. All fish oils complied with a p-AV limit of 30, 98% with a PV limit of 10 meq O2/kg, and 96% with a calculated TOTOX value of 50, which are less stringent limits used by the European and British Pharmacopeia and the Australian authorities. The results are in stark contrast to the very low percentage of fish oil products reported to be in compliance with primary oxidation limits and EPA/DHA content by a recently published assessment of fish oil supplements in New Zealand. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are evaluated and discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Dietary Supplements / standards
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / analysis*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / analysis*
  • Fish Oils / analysis
  • Fish Oils / chemistry*
  • New Zealand
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Quality Control


  • Fish Oils
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid