1. I cannot find my fish oil product in the list
of Consumer Reports. How do I know if the product is of high
safety, purity and quality?
To find out if your fish oil product has been tested through
IFOS, click on the Consumer Reports link on the top menu bar of the
page. Select the product category that is of interest to you
(Ultra Refined, Natural Grade, Children's Products, etc.).
The list of tested products will appear half way down the page in
alphabetical order. Click on the product of interest and a
PDF will open displaying the product's results and star rating.
If you do not see your brand of interest on the list, we
cannot comment on its quality or purity. This means
the company has either not tested their product through IFOS, or
has tested their product through IFOS but has not given consent to
be included on the list of Consumer Reports. In these
instances, we encourage you to contact the company directly and
refer them to the IFOS Program. Alternatively, you can
request a Certificate of Analysis (C of A) from the company which
lists the product's analytical testing results.
2. Why IFOS?
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits
of omega-3 fatty acids but are equally concerned with potential
contamination issues. Recent clinical data also suggests that
mercury and PCBs from edible marine sources can have negative
The IFOS Program continues to grow in popularity and proves it
is a value and reliable source for third-party validation. The IFOS
program delivers a suitable venue for the omega-3 fish oil
supplement industry to showcase credible product sources.
3. How Does IFOS compare to other certification programs
like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and ISO 9000
The IFOS Program is concerned with the quality of omega-3
products as it relates to the international standards established
by the Council for Responsible
Nutrition (CRN) and the World Health
Organization (WHO) for purity and concentration. The GMP and
ISO certifications are concerned with the manufacturing protocols
and consistency of manufacturing procedures behind the making of
the omega-3 product.
The quality of a product and quality of the manufacturing of the
product are two very different things. If a manufacturer is ISO
certified, it means they follow the same guidelines every time they
make the same product line, and that each step is documented and
followed. This does not mean the product is of high purity and high
concentration. Companies that adhere to consistent manufacturing
processes can still produce an inferior product.
4. What is the IFOS Certification Mark?
The IFOS Certification Mark (available to gold and silver IFOS subscribers) is a seal of
approval that can be placed on product labels. The Certification
Mark lets consumers know that a product line has been tested and
certified by the IFOS Program.
In some instances, there is a lag time between the production of
a batch and an IFOS Program Consumer Report. In those instances,
the company is allowed to continue to use the Certification Mark on
the corresponding labels until the IFOS rating for that particular
batch is confirmed.
5. Why does IFOS use the Council for Responsible
Nutrition (CRN) and World Health Organization (WHO) standards over
other standards such as the European Pharmacopoeia?
IFOS is an international program, and the WHO and CRN standards
are internationally recognized bodies for the standards of purity
in every country where omega-3 products are sold. The IFOS Program
provides a one-stop solution for both consumers and fish oil
product promoters in every country for a worldwide benchmark of
6. Why is third-party validation testing
All manufacturers of omega-3 fish oil products have a
Certificate of Analysis for each batch they produce. As a
third-party testing service, IFOS will verify that the
manufacturer's Certificate of Analysis is factually correct,
providing the added comfort that you are feeding premium product to
yourself and your family.
Flavouring, bottling, lack of nitrogen purging and many other
factors may contribute to the degradation of an oil from initial
manufacturing to the shelf. The IFOS Program tests all batches as
finished products, in the same format a consumer would purchase.
Certificates of Analysis from a manufacturer do not necessarily
represent the testing results for finished product.
Inportant note: IFOS testing is done for many companies as a
third party quality control testing service. IFOS Consumer
Reports should not be confused with IFOS Certificates of
Analysis. If you see any IFOS batch reports on other sites or
in printed material that are not listed on the IFOS website, they
are considered invalid from a consumer perspective. Only those
batches listed on the website below are tested at 'consumer ready'
7. Why Nutrasource Diagnostics Inc.?
Nutrasource Diagnostics Inc.
(NDI) is the world leader in discovering the health benefits of
nutrition through evidence-based science and innovation. We
specialize in scientific and regulatory consulting, human clinical
trials, product analysis and testing and novel human diagnostic
NDI has tested thousands of human and fish oil samples for
omega-3 levels, and its scientific advisory has consulted for some
of the biggest names in fish oil manufacturing, distributing and
retailing. In addition, NDI scientists have advised health
ministries in various countries, as well as companies involved with
the Council For Responsible Nutrition Voluntary Monograph, which
outlines international standards for safe levels of contaminants in
omega-3 enriched products.