Many of the standard commercial fish oils come from diverse fish of widely variable purity, and as a consequence, require heavy chemical processing to produce a product fit for human consumption.
Normally, once fish are rendered, they undergo a purification process which produces a purified oil with an acceptable shelf life. Pharmaceutical-grade oils undergo heavy industrial processing, including degumming, bleaching, deodorisation, high temperature distillation (at best molecular distillation) and heavy carbon filtration. These processes reduce contaminants in these lower quality oils, but also have a detrimental impact on the valuable fat-soluble nutrients, which are very sensitive to temperature. They also generate degradation products.
Many companies claim that their fish oils are unrefined and extra-virgin, but on closer inspection you will find that for the majority of them, heat has been involved in the extraction. Even some of the so-called best oils are produced using steam distillation, involving temperatures of approximately 212°F (100°C). This results in oil which is anything but natural.
Good quality oil, extracted the proper way and obtained from fish living in unpolluted waters, does not require these processing steps, which degrade the oil and can damage the fragile unsaturated fatty acids, as well as removing flavours and nutrients. Refined fish oils and fish body oils should be avoided in the same manner that we avoid refined sugar.
Our fish liver oil is rendered from the liver of wild, freshly caught ratfish, living in the pure, uncontaminated and crystal clear waters of the Norwegian Helgeland Fjords, an area unique for its pristine condition and beauty. The water is of an amazing quality, and similar to that in which the ratfish lived thousands of years ago!