Norwegian Researchers Show Natural Antioxidants in Fishmeals and Oils Compare Well to Synthetics

Analyses done by Fiskeriforskning show that the use of natural antioxidants in fish oil and fishmeal works almost as well as the synthetic ones that are being used by feed manufacturers today.
February 8, 2006

In the production of fish feed, it is still common to use synthetic additives, or antioxidants, to prevent the feed from oxidising and losing quality. In Europe, and particularly in Germany, the consumers are about to turn their backs on synthetic additives.


Away from synthetic additives

Fiskeriforskning was selected to conduct analyses of natural and synthetic antioxidants by Naturland in Germany. The results show that the natural additives are almost as effective as the synthetic, which are used extensively in the industry today.


One of these synthetic antioxidants is ethoxyquin (EMQ), which is prohibited for use in foodstuffs in the EU, Japan and Canada. However, it is permitted for use in animal feed.

"Use of legal quantities of synthetic antioxidants are not proven to be dangerous for humans", says Senior Scientist Jan Pettersen who has carried out the analyses, "but there are enough alternative natural compounds that can be used in the production of fish feed".


Works in different areas

The tests have been done using methods developed by Fiskeriforskning and show that the different antioxidants work differently according to which products they are used on. For example, the tests showed that ethoxyquin is effective in stopping the oxidation in fishmeal, but has insignificant effect on fish oil.


The report stresses that additional research is necessary to document how the nutritive value in feed is affected by use of the antioxidants, and whether there are health-related problems associated with these additives.


The analyses were done for Naturland and the project is financed by Coop Naturaplan Fund in Germany.


For more information, contact:

Senior Scientist Jan Pettersen