Cod Liver Oil


The use of fish oils and marine liver oils dates back thousands of years. Hippocrates (460 – 377 BC) and Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AC) both mention the use of fish oil in medicine. It has also been said that the romans made a fermented fish oil which was a staple in their diets. By the 1700s, infirmaries and apothecaries had noted the success of Cod Liver Oil and began prescribing it to patients suffering from rheumatism. The first written account of the healing effects of Cod Liver Oil taken internally was in a letter, written in 1782 by Robert Darbey, at the Manchester Infirmary in the United Kingdom. And in 1848, the British physician John Hughes Bennett observed that Cod Liver Oil had been used from time immemorial by the fishing populations of Scotland, Sweden and Norway for its general medicinal and strenghtening properties.

One may date the use of Cod Liver Oil as a food back to the times of the Vikings (about 700 – 1100 AC). The method used by the Vikings to extract oil from cod livers was by filling a large pan with water and letting the water boil. They then placed birch tree branches on top of the pan, and the cod livers where put on top of the branches. As the steam from the boiling water rose, it began to cook the livers and oil from the livers would drop into the pan. For more information about the history of Cod Liver Oil manufacturing in Norway, please follow this link: Lofoten Museum / Coastal Administration Museum.

The beneficial properties of Cod Liver Oil through history has generally been as a source of Vitamin A and D, as well as against rheumatism. In more recent years, research has been carried out into the essential fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) naturally contained in Cod Liver Oil. The research has led to the view of Cod Liver Oil as also being beneficial to the heart and circulatory system.

Cod liver oil promo with a photo of the sea.

Product Specification

The Cod Liver Oil, or Medicinal Cod Liver Oil, available today is the fatty oil obtained from fresh livers of the North Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and other species of the Gadidae family by cooking and subsequent cold filtration. The free fatty acids and odour carrying substances as well as unnatural/typical foreign substances are reduced by subsequent refining and production processes.

VITAMIN A6002500iu/g (*)
VITAMIN D360250iu/g
SPECIFIC GRAVITY (at 20 °C)0.9180.927
REFRACTIVE INDEX (at 20 °C)1.4771.484
COLD TESTclear for 3 hours at 0 °C

(*) = international units per gram of oil.Fatty Acid Composition in % (as per USP, evaluated from the area percentages of all Fatty Acids greater than 0.05%)

Saturated Fatty Acids

Myristic Acid C14:02.06.0
Palmitic Acid C16:07.014.0
Stearic Acid C18:01.04.0

Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Palmitoleic AcidC16:14.511.5
cis-Vaccenic AcidC18:1n72.07.0
Oleic AcidC18:1n912.021.0
Gadoleic AcidC20:1n111.05.5
Gondoic AcidC20:1n95.05.5
Erucic AcidC22:1n901.5
Cetoleic AcidC22:1n15.012.0

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Linoleic AcidC18:20.53.0
Linolenic AcidC18:3 n302.0
Moroctic AcidC18:4 n30.54.5
Eicosapentaenoic Acid
EPAC20:5 n37.016.0
Docosahexaenoic Acid
DHA C22:6 n3 6.018.0

Manufacturing Process

  1. Steam rendering of fresh cod livers – sludge decanter to separate oil/water from dry matter . oil/water separation – vacuum drying – crude cod liver oil – raw material analysis – check point, rejected material separated.
  2. Deacidification – vacuum drying – filtration of high melting components – analysis according to raw material specifications – absorbent technology to reduce contaminants – check point, rejected material separated.
  3. Filtration – analysis according to raw material specifications – refined cod liver oil – deodorizing (if required) – check point, rejected material separated.
  4. Homogenizing tank to blend different oil batches – blending tanks for antioxidants (if required) – final product tanks – analysis according to specifications – check point, rejected material separated.
  5. Drumming at drumming station with polishing filter – labeling and packing.
PackingIn new 190 kg net drums or IBCs.
StorageLight protected, not above room temperature, in tightly sealed drums/containers.
Shelf Life 24 months when stored as recommended.