The intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the average consumer is generally low, and products such as fish oils high in omega-3 PUFA have become popular dietary supplements. There is a need for more sources of omega-3 PUFA to cover the increasing demand. This study investigated whether livers from different lean fish species could be a potential new source of oils rich in omega-3 PUFA. The seasonal variation in lipid content, fatty acid composition, peroxide value and free fatty acid content (FFA) of livers from cod, hake, ling, coalfish and monkfish was determined, and the effect of storage conditions on the fishing vessel (ice vs frozen) was studied. Generally, the lipid content and composition of the livers from the five fish species varied similarly during the two years of the sampling period, with significantly lower values in spring (March, April) and higher values in fall (October, November). Storage conditions were found to have no significant effect on the quality and oil composition. Monkfish livers were less suitable for production of omega-3 oil due to their lower lipid and EPA content as well as higher FFA levels. Coalfish had higher fluctuations in oil composition during the sampling period, which potentially makes a standardised quality difficult to obtain. Cod, hake and ling were the most suitable species for fish liver oil production.
- Coalfish (saithe)
- Omega-3 PUFA