Breaking news – Once again krill oil is in the spotlight…. unclean and solvent-extraction processes bring bad news for all current krill oil producers, as published June 17th by Nutraingredients. Solvent-extracted krill oils are recalled in South Korea. From a total of 12 brands recalled, 10 are European brands. As all current krill oil brands use solvents on its manufacturing process, it is inevitable that residual levels of solvent show up.
What does all this mean?
The implications for the krill oil industry will be multi-matrix, while consumers become more adamant against un-clean products.
Getting rid of solvents will become the benchmark of safer, cheaper, and cleaner options. Looking forward, producing low- cost, high-quality krill oil will be the industry´s standard for krill operators trying to survive in an every day competitive environment. Those failing to deliver such product, will fail to meet consumers’ demands and fade away. How will they accomplish these new demands?
Why consumers have to buy a krill oil with solvents on it? Why buy krill oils that were extracted on-land, from dried krill meals that were manufactured at-sea several months before the oil was extracted? Why pay expensive prices when new technologies can offer much cheaper solutions?
Why multi-matrix impact
Sales will be hit, in some markets plummet. The krill oil category once again will be highly scrutinized, and mammoth new projects will have to reevaluate their on-land krill oil solvent-extraction models. Some trade of krill meals used to extract the oil will slow down, negative media will hit back again, and key players back on stage to convince their audience why their brand is safer and cleaner (although solvents are still in there).
The South Korean “fiasco” confirms that some brands do not only have solvent residues above regulations, but also contained plainly banned substances. They do not just infringe sanitary rules but also threaten consumers health.
Making things worst, some of the recalled krill oil brands contain ethoxyquin, an antioxidant commonly used to stabilize marine (fish and krill) dried meals, preventing oxidation, that are later used in animal feeds. Ethoxyquin has been banned in several countries.
There is absolutely no other assurance to have a clean, 100% solvent and oxidation-free, pure krill oil other than when there is no solvents in it, when krill oil is manufactured without solvents in part of the processing value chain, and most important, when the oil is extracted at-sea directly from fresh raw krill.
Consumer’s confidence that high concentrated krill oils gets rid of solvents it is neither accurate. All current krill extraction processes, concentration includes, use solvent, more of them in some cases.