More Information on Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO) is real Norwegian cod liver oil that is fresh, raw & handcrafted from wild cod livers using a very rare ancient extraction technique which uses nature to separate the oil from its liver. No chemicals, solvents, or mechanical devices are ever used during the extraction process. The oil is completely unrefined and produced under the total absence of heat, a process that protects its nutritional value.

EVCLO has a pale golden color and a mild, fishy taste. It is thoroughly tested by leading universities and government-linked institutes. It’s a true ancient oil in today’s modern world, and one that Norse ancestors would have been proud to consume!

Rosita’s Story

Rosita is a unique company made up of fishermen who originally went to sea in rowing boats, with fishing histories stretching all the way back to the whaling days. They have spent years fishing in the wild, pristine Norwegian waters, and are intent on maintaining and preserving the fishing methods of their forefathers. It is therefore no surprise to learn that Rosita has many years of experience in producing raw liver oils.

The First Challenge: Rancidity

Cod liver oil is a rich source of DHA and EPA and a high concentration of these polyunsaturated fatty acids makes the oil susceptible to oxidation. Increasing oxidation levels have been correlated with increasing concentrations of EPA and DHA. Cod liver oil contains lower levels of antioxidants that retard oxidation. Cod liver oil can start to go rancid within 1 hour after it is released from the liver. Other often misunderstood oxidation markers are the Peroxide and Anisidine values. It is incorrectly assumed that low levels are indicative of a fresh oil. However, oils that are well “advanced” into the secondary phase of oxidation typically have Peroxide and Anisidine values well within normal limits. But levels of secondary products including aldehydes become raised. Such oils are indeed “putrid”. Rancid fish oils, whether nutrient rich or not, can have a pro-oxidant effect within the body. Nofima research scientist Stine Grimmer says that rancid oils may also inhibit the cells’ own antioxidant system and reduce the inflammation-inhibiting effect of omega-3 fatty acids in cell models. Rancid fats have also been implicated in increased rates of heart disease, atherosclerosis and are possibly carcinogenic. After 2+ years of hard work, Rosita was able to come up with a natural solution to successfully prevent rancidity. The topic of rancidity and oxidation is addressed in more detail here:  

The Second Challenge: Contamination

The focus was then shifted to the issue of organic contaminants and heavy metals in wild cod fish caught off the coast of Norway. This is a problem, considering the fact that approximately 650 tons of marine oils are typically sold for human consumption in Norway per year, and one in three Norwegians consume such oils. PCBs accumulate in fat tissue and their levels in fish are a concern that prompted health authorities worldwide to warn pregnant women not to consume some species of fish. Heavy metals may also be an issue, although to date Rosita has not encountered any problems as levels have either not been detected (below the limit of quantification) or well below EU requirements. It is true that during certain seasons, cod livers contain a high percentage of fat and studies from NIFES and Nofima have shown that cod livers and raw (non-purified) cod liver oil contain high levels of PCBs and pesticides. See more here: 

Contamination problems are typically addressed by the use of conventional industrial purification methods which can often involve heating the oil to very high temperatures (>200 °C). These methods do a good job of removing contaminants out of the oil. Unfortunately, this kind of processing can result in unwanted heat-induced reactions, evaporation of minor nutritional components and volatile nutrients; as well as affecting the retention of vitamins, cholesterol, unsaponifiable compounds, PUFA levels/quality, oxidation levels and oxidative stability. Rosita has often stated that there is no way such a product could be called natural.

Rosita oils have also been analyzed by universities, leading European institutes and government-linked research scientists, some of whom are involved in monitoring the quality of fish oils. Rosita oils have been tested for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including pesticides (such as DDT), industrial chemicals (such as polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs) and unintentional by-products of industrial processes (such as dioxins and furans). They have also been tested for heavy metals and microbiological contamination.

The test results for Rosita EVCLO have consistently come back with very low levels of contaminants, and are fully compliant with stringent European Commission and WHO rules on environmental pollutants.

How does Rosita address the potential problem of organic contaminants?

Once Rosita applies its ancient extraction technique, and the oil “naturally” separates from the livers, a sample of oil is taken for analysis to a professional institute including Nofima (the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research), NIFES (National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research), ALS Food & Pharmaceutical (United Kingdom), etc. If contamination levels are found to exceed the stringent European requirements, then Rosita will use a method which is 100% natural, environmentally friendly, and retains ALL the vitamins, antioxidants and the oils natural fatty acid composition. Everything is done with respect for nature. The whole process occurs without the use of any heat or chemicals. All that is required is a biological polysaccharide that occurs naturally in the ocean, and found in certain marine organisms, which has the ability to bind to organic contaminants.

The goal of producing EVCLO was to capture the fresh oil, while keeping all of the vitamins, fats, and other nutrients as they exist in nature. That was the easy part.

The challenge was protecting against rancidity and ensuring contaminants meet the strict EU criteria.

Rosita was able to successfully deal with these two issues by using totally natural methods. Click here to view comprehensive test results for nutrients, rancidity, and contaminants:

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