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How Products Were Selected:

Products tested represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. purchased products on the open market, such as through retail stores, on-line retailers, and direct sales or multi-level marketing companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.

Testing Methods:

Canned fish products were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
  1. The identity and quantity of total fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by gas chromatography utilizing the AOAC (Association Official Analytical Chemists) Official Method 991.39 or other methodology deemed appropriate by CL.
  2. Lead, cadmium, mercury and total arsenic (and inorganic arsenic if total arsenic concentration exceeded 3.5 ppm) by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) or other methods deemed appropriate by CL.
  3. Freshness: Combined peroxide (PV) and anisidine (AN) values for calculation of TOTOX value as 2X peroxide value (PV) + p-anisidine value (AV) in products containing at least 5 g of fat per serving and no interfering properties such as color by AOCS method (CD 8-53 & 18-90 respectively) or equivalent methods. may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.

Identities of products were not disclosed to laboratories performing the testing. If a product did not meet a Passing Score criterion (below), it was sent to another independent laboratory for repeat testing.

Passing Score:*

To achieve a "Pass" in the testing, a product had:
  1. Contain 100% of the claimed amounts of EPA, DHA, other fatty acids and claimed totals, and not exceed the greater of 150% or 75 mg per serving above any of these amounts
  2. Heavy metals. Product must not exceed the following limits:

    Arsenic: 3.5 ppm (Canadian limit).

    Cadmium: 0.05 ppm (European limit based on salmon)

    Lead: 0.5 ppm (Canadian limit)

    Mercury: 0.46 ppm (based on EPA-FDA fish advice avoidance limit and Canadian limit in fish protein of 0.5 ppm)
  3. Freshness: Have a combined peroxide value (PV) of no more than 5 meq/kg, and anisidine value (AV) of no more than 20, and a TOTOX value of no more than 26 (calculated as (2 x PV) + AV) (GOED 2012).
A "Pass" was based on meeting the above criteria in either the first or second rounds of testing.

* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to display unacceptable variation in quality, present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.

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