Nordic Naturals Fish Oil Cleared of Consumer Reports Quality Allegation

Natural flavoring complicated the quality test.

Following the publication of omega-3 product quality tests in its January 2012 issue, Consumer Reports is now retracting its conclusion that Nordic Naturals’ (Watsonville, CA) Ultimate Omega 180 product did not meet adequate freshness levels.

In its article “Fish-Oil Pills vs. Claims,” Consumer Reports stated that Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 180 tested for elevated levels of compounds that indicate spoilage. The publication then ran the following correction on its website:

“Upon further review, we have found that the industry-standard spoilage test we used cannot reliably detect spoilage in products with lemon oil, and we could not identify any current well-established methodology for doing so.”

Nordic Naturals CEO Joar Opheim says that the lemon flavoring of Ultimate Omega 180 appears to have created a false reading for anisidine, an indicatory of freshness. While there currently is no established methodology for testing flavored fish oils, Opheim says his company is exploring a method of its own. In the meantime, some manufacturers of flavored fish oils published pre-flavoring freshness values rather than finished product freshness values, he says.

Nordic Naturals adds that its product passed every other quality measure tested by Consumer Reports, including lead, mercury, dioxin, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) testing.