Sourcing the Fish.
Rosita Real Foods is located on the island of Donna in Northern Norway, where the deep fjords contain some of the cleanest ocean waters still remaining in the world. Thanks to strict quotas, protection of breeding grounds, as well as conservation treaties entered into with the Russian government over the past fifteen years, cod populations in Norway have returned to pre-World War II numbers and they continue to grow each year. The Rosita family comes from a long line of Nordic fishermen with the skills and knowledge of the surrounding waters. Rosita strictly catches the Atlantic Cod (Gadus Morhua) using the traditional line-fishing method. Historically, it is the Atlantic Cod’s liver oil that is well documented for its healing effects. Moreover, it has made Norway world famous as the Mecca of cod liver oil production. Each liver is inspected for health and plumpness with only the finest of the livers used to make Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil.
Cod Liver Oil Extraction.
The Ancient Vikings observed an interesting phenomenon when fishing for cod, ratfish, shark and other fish that produced life sustaining liver oils. When a fresh caught cod was brought up to the surface and the liver eviscerated from the fish, the change in temperature and pressure from the ocean depths to the surface pressure and room temperature caused a natural exuding of the oil from the liver of the fish. Nearly 100% of the liver oil could be collected using this completely natural technique. The shark and ratfish liver oils were stored for long periods of time; however, the cod liver oil was consumed relatively quickly due to its propensity to go rancid. Today, we know it is the presence of vitamin E naturally found in shark and ratfish liver oil that provides antioxidant properties. Cod liver oil contains very low levels of vitamin E and was therefore consumed immediately or frozen by our Viking ancestors. The Rosita family has revived this ancient practice of extracting fish liver oils. The process is simple, but can only be performed on freshly caught fish straight from very cold waters. No heat, mechanical pressure, solvents or chemicals are ever used to extract the precious golden oil from the cod’s liver.
EVCLO is tested for contaminants on a regular basis. All EVCLO batches are run through a proprietary filtering system that removes contaminants without the use of any heat or chemicals. The contaminant filtering process uses materials from the ocean to bind contaminants together and remove them from the oil.
Once Rosita applies their rare & unique extraction technique to obtain the oil from the liver, Rosita then uses a method which is 100% natural, environmentally friendly - without any form of emission to air and water. This proprietary method retains ALL of the oils vitamins, antioxidants and natural fatty acid composition. Everything is done with respect for nature. The whole process occurs without the use of heat, chemicals or vacuum. Using this method, all that is required is a biological polysaccharide that occurs naturally in the ocean, and found in certain marine organisms, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. It also has the property to bind itself to a variety of organic contaminants and proteins, which can then be removed as a solid protein mass. Binding to proteins is advantageous because these can reduce oil quality with time.
The basic 100% natural cleaning protocol occurs in the absence of oxygen and can be summarised as follows: an aqueous solution of the natural marine-derived polysaccharide is prepared and mixed into the raw oil to obtain a homogenous suspension. This is allowed to rest. The natural polysaccharide with bound contaminants will precipitate into a bottom layer which may be separated from the raw oil by filtration or use of a decanter. This is a handcrafted process which does not require the use of heat or chemicals.
The simplicity of the process is described as "dropping a wedding ring in a glass of water and then reaching in and picking it out".
The effectiveness of this cleaning protocol has been shown in a two year pilot study conducted by The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research. The method has further been optimized based on the results of a research project with the University of Stockholm.
This is a huge departure from the invasive deodorization and molecular distillation processes that are commonly used by commercial cod liver oil producers. It is the use of high heat in the commercial processes that destroys most of the vitamins A and D. Destroy these precious nutrients and you destroy the very reason for taking cod liver oil in the first place. Rosita works very hard to make sure the cod liver oil is minimally processed to retain all of the natural vitamins A and D plus the omega 3 DHA and EPA. This ensures the consumer is getting all of the potent healing effects cod liver oil is famous for. No synthetic vitamin A, synthetic vitamin D, synthetic anti-oxidants or flavorings are ever added to EVCLO.
Once the oil has passed through the contaminant filtering process, it is then paper filtered to remove any remaining fish proteins. Using gravity alone, the oil passes through a series of paper filters roughly equivalent to coffee filters. The end result is pure cod liver oil that is fresh, wild and raw.
Due to the lack of natural vitamin E, cod liver oil goes rancid (oxidizes) quickly. After consulting with top researchers and universities in the field of antioxidants, Rosita developed an all-natural antioxidant package that would prevent the oil from oxidizing and going rancid. Using a combination of organic Rosemary herb and full spectrum vitamin E from organic seeds (gluten-free, soy-free), getting the proper balance in place was critical. Too much and the antioxidants become pro-oxidants, creating the opposite of the desired effect. Too little and the oil easily goes rancid. It took Rosita two years to produce an antioxidant package that worked perfectly. A tiny drop of antioxidants is added to each bottle of EVCLO to ensure the oil will remain fresh during transport, storage and consumption.
Commercially refined cod liver oils often require flavorings to mask a rancid taste. No flavors are ever added to EVCLO. It is our instinctual sense of smell and taste that finds rancid oils repugnant and prevents us from consuming them. Covering up or disguising a rancid taste effectively by-passes this natural instinct. It is important to Rosita that the consumer is keenly aware whether or not EVCLO is going rancid and to stop taking it. The reason for taking cod liver oil is to increase and maintain your health.
The EVCLO process from fish to bottle occurs within 48 hours. During the entire process, the oil never comes into contact with reactive metal that can accelerate oxidation (rancidity). The lights and temperature in the bottling facility are kept low to minimize oxidation factors. Each bottle is nitrogen flushed and then capped oxygen free.
Storage and Shipping.
Each batch of EVCLO is made fresh to order and shipped express to Corganic's US warehouses located in Washington State and Virginia where they are cold stored. Due to the antioxidants and oxygen free bottling, Corganic is able to ship orders of EVCLO to customers without the use of cold packs. When received by the customer, EVCLO is required to be kept in the refrigerator, especially after opening or for long term storage, where it may be kept in the freezer.
Please visit our blog post that details the industrial processing method that is used to produce most commercial cod liver oil.