Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Disappearing omega-3's

itsafineday - 9-12-2019 at 04:21

So I've been eating salmon packets for lunch for a couple years. I just picked up another batch and the package is very different. The nutritional information is dramatically different considering it is supposedly the same product.

I contacted the company to find out what the omega-3 levels were in the new product and apparently they are half of what they were . The previous 5 oz package contained 1000 mg dha/epa and 2.5 grams polyunsaturated fatty acid while the new package no longer lists poly unsaturated fatty acids but the company stated via telephone that omega 3 levels are now 500 mg per 5 oz serving.

I believe this is food chemistry being used to raid our food supply of it's basic nutrition and am very sad to see this kind of behavior . As I've been seeking out an alternative source it seems all the processed salmon is surprisingly low in epa/dha. I also found what appears to be similar tinkering with cooked shrimp. This after just a few hours of looking for an alternative food source of epa/dha.

I would really like to hear about any other products that are having the basic goodness removed for profits sake.

j_sum1 - 9-12-2019 at 04:30

The difference in processing may be as little as the butchering technique: less meat from close to the skin. This might be an attempt to meet the wants of the market or because it s more profitable if the byproducts command a higher price.

Pure speculation of course. Food tampering never surprises me but it is not always sinister.

Morgan - 9-12-2019 at 07:02

Skip to about the 21 minute mark and watch for a few minutes. The sand eels fish food was an interesting topic.

Filet Oh Fish

[Edited on 9-12-2019 by Morgan]

mayko - 9-12-2019 at 17:35

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Food tampering never surprises me but it is not always sinister.

The biology department does an annual study of seafood mislabeling with undergrad research students... the sheer scale of what they uncover is :o


We used standard DNA barcoding procedures to determine the species identity of 106 shrimp sold by 60 vendors across North Carolina as “local” shrimp. Thirty-four percent of the purchased shrimp was mislabeled, and surprisingly the percentage did not differ significantly between coastal and inland counties. Roughly one third of product incorrectly marketed as “local” was in fact whiteleg shrimp: an imported, and very likely farmed, species from the eastern Pacific (and not found in North Carolina waters).

clearly_not_atara - 9-12-2019 at 18:53

Farmed salmon often have less omega-3 than wild salmon due to different diets. If they changed the source of the salmon it's possible the new fish have less omega-3 in their diet.

Generally, green parts of plants and algae, like grass and kelp, but also e.g. broccoli, contain more omega-3 than omega-6. Brown, white and colored parts (seeds, fruits, roots) contain more omega-6 than omega-3. We feed seeds to livestock because they're denser and so cheaper to harvest and store, but wild animals eat more foliage and get more omega-3.

Expanded awareness of the role of omega-3 in human health may, hopefully, lead to large-scale changes in livestock feed that ensure all animal products have appropriate levels of omega-3. Which is how it used to be in preindustrial times.

itsafineday - 11-12-2019 at 14:18

Yikes!!! You guys have scared the shit out of me.

itsafineday - 17-12-2019 at 08:46

The company sent me an email stateing that the new information was a result of a new analysis that was prompted by regulatory changes (US) reguarding serving size, heart health claims and omega-3 levels.

Fery - 24-12-2019 at 05:16

During years I see expansion of fish plants, they are usually close to coast (must be anchored to seabed in shallow water) so clusters of rings of nests are well visible from low altitude before landing / after takeoff if the airport is close to coast. These farm fish are fed with a mix of vegetable oil+soya and this feeding shit floats on surface so sometimes spoils me and my equipment while I'm hunting for octopus (spoiling diving mask is the worst as then I do not see well). These fish grown and captured in small volume suffer from epidemic diseases so are fed with high doses of antibiotics which persist in the fish.
If you buy fresh fish caught by local fisherman I believe it is high in EPA/DHA. If you can, try to catch by your own hands. Avoid buying from shops when the origin of the fish is unknown.

SWIM - 24-12-2019 at 21:49

Although salmon does vary in oil content, there is another possible explanation.

Reducing the listed omega 3 content may encourage people concerned about such things to eat a whole packet instead of 1/2.

There probably isn't much risk to under reporting the nutritious value of your products.
If there is a regulation against it, I bet you'd just get warnings for some time. (Assuming they check: FDA has been dying like a banded testicle since the 1980s.)

Kinda like under-reporting your product's shelf life so people throw it out and buy more.
That's a VERY popular deception to increase profits.

Abromination - 25-12-2019 at 01:07

One of the great things about living in Alaska is the abundance of fresh salmon. You catch it and prepare it yourself, and when you compare it to farmed fish you realize just how artificial it is. I feel that it is quite likely that there is a scheme behind the change rather then a change in the farmed salmons diet.

Nonexistent - 25-12-2019 at 06:33

Somewhat off-topic, but companies now also produce certain feed to obtain characteristics that are more appealing to consumers such as extra carotenoids and another compound I've now forgotten to enhance the bright orange/red color of shrimp and lobsters. I'm sure we'll soon see feeds that add to the omega 3 content. Some are already adding Vitamins and minerals to certain foodstuffs. The days of eating foods for what they were naturally high in is gone. What this entails for both the animals and our own metabolism is still a mystery.

Morgan - 25-12-2019 at 09:35