When Freezing isn’t Freezing
A "Ultra-Refined" fish oil must contain greater than 60% long chain omega 3 fatty acids, but unless you have a $40,000 dollar chromatograph it is unlikely you are going to be able to verify that parameter. As I pointed out in my book, The Omega Rx Zone , a less precise indicator of a pharmaceutical is whether or not it freezes. Fish oils, however are derived from biological sources, which mean there can be seasonal variations in the levels of saturated fat and monounsaturated fatty acids in the final product. If the levels of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are slightly higher than 15% then the oil will initially “freeze”, but then begin to flow within a few days after vigorously shaking the bottle. What is happening?
What you are observing is a process called winterization. Although the fish oils appear to initially freeze, it is actually in a very slow moving gel state that appears to be frozen. With a short time period (usually a few days), the saturated and monounsaturated fats start moving toward the sides of the glass bottle and crystallize out. This leaves behind a lower concentration of these fatty acids in the gel. The vigorous shaking of the bottle destroys the maintaining gel structure, and the oil begins to flow.
Thank You, Barry Sears Ph.D.