GOED publishes new advisory for accurately quantifying EPA, DHA, and total omega-3 fatty acid content via gas chromatography


According to the organization, laboratories quantifying fatty acid content may not know how to properly set up instruments to achieve accurate results.

Photo © AdobeStock.com/Maksymiv Iurii

Photo © AdobeStock.com/Maksymiv Iurii

The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED; Salt Lake City, UT) has published a new advisory with tips on how to more accurately quantify EPA, DHA, and total omega-3 fatty acids when testing is performed via gas chromatography and flame emission detection.

According to GOED, results may be inaccurate if testing laboratories don’t know how to properly set up instruments and proceed with preparation and analysis when testing these fatty acids. GOED says this has been happening, which led the association to publish the new advisory with information and tips from analytical chemists experienced in EPA and DHA quantification.

It states: “This advisory was developed because, in the opinion of expert analytical chemists in the industry, the variability in results observed in the AOCS GOED Nutraceutical Oils Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPP) is too high, indicative of the fact that a portion of laboratories do not know how to properly set up their instrument and carry out the sample preparation and analysis.”

It adds: “This advisory is complementary to GOED’s Technical Guidance Documents, which provide a description of the GOED Fatty Acid method (equivalent to Ph.Eur. 2.4.29). This advisory can also be a helpful complement to other methods for EPA and DHA quantification but does not constitute any mandatory instructions to GOED members.”

Tips include trying both a split and splitless method to determine which functions better for a lab’s injector system for long-chain fatty acid analysis, as well as trying different injection temperatures and using a secondary standard.

Says GOED’s press release: “This document is meant to provide useful advice for laboratories to improve their accuracy of EPA and DHA quantification in omega-3 oils and contains information that is not normally provided in official method descriptions. Individual laboratories can assess the utility of the information for themselves.”

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