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What Makes Krill Oil High Quality?

 

Many factors go into catching krill in an eco friendly way and then processing it so that it maintains freshness and purity.   Proper processing of krill oil requires specialized knowledge of chemistry and process engineering in order to maintain appropriate purity, stability and odor control.

One key thing that we look for is the presence and amount of Trimethylamine (TMA).

Trimethylamine (TMA) is a small nitrogenous molecule and what in finished krill oil products we want to look for TMAO as an Osmolyte and TMA as a Breakdown Product of Choline.

TMAO is a molecule that controls osmotic pressure inside the krill and this keeps them from shriveling up or swelling up because of the high salt water that they live in.  The krill produce this in response to the varying salt conditions that they may encounter so that it keeps them in proper water balance.  

TMA can also be created from the breakdown of choline and when you ingest high levels of free choline it can sometimes lead to "fishy" breath.  The choline portion can break down in storage or processing creating TMA and when this is found in krill oil it may indicate degradation of the oil.

The presence of residual TMA in a finished krill oil product may generally indicate one of two things.  It may indicate incomplete extraction or purification during processing of the normal TMAO found in krill.  In other words the naturally occurring TMA in live krill was not removed like it should have been during processing.  The second reason of the presence of TMA may indicated that the choline portion of the phospholipids may be breaking down in storage.  This indicates a potential problem with product stability.

To summarize when TMA appears in a finished krill oil product it may represent inefficiencies in either the raw materials, processing or instability in storage that leads to the breakdown of the krill phospholipids.   During independent third party analysis other krill products have shown higher levels of TMA, but it wasn't clear which of the conditions described above was the cause of this.  

Third party analysis of our raw krill oil typically detects TMA values of <1mgN/100g which indicates that natural TMA levels found in our krill were initially low and have been efficiently removed during the processing methods.  It also means that the phospholipids are stable since the breakdown product of choline is nearly below detection levels.  

Unfortunately most krill oil providers are not going to come out and proactively test their raw oil especially if they can't show that TMA levels in their oils are low or essentially non-existant.  We have rigorously researched many different raw krill oil suppliers and why we have chosen to use who we do is because they are all for testing TMA levels and having ConsumerLab.com third party test the raw krill oil to let you the consumer know that when you consume Prograde EFA Icon you are consuming the best krill oil on the market and third party testing has shown that it is of the highest quality.

 

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