True Westfjords takes cod liver oil production back to its ancient Viking roots
29 Jun 2022 --- Icelandic company True Westfjords has unveiled its Dropi brand cod liver oil, which it hails as a “Viking tonic” with freshness and purity credentials. True Westfjords states they adapted an ancient Viking technique to produce a product that is extra-virgin, all-natural, 100% pure, cold-pressed and manufactured in its “rawest” form.
“Most manufacturers of cod liver oil buy the liver from big fishing vessels that go out for up to 30 to 40 days, so the liver they get is not fresh,” Óttar Kristinn Bjarnason, director of sales and marketing, True Westfjords, tells NutritionInsight. “It’s either already rancid or frozen when they receive it.”
Bjarnason explains that most producers then boil it together with a certain amount of vitamin A and vitamin D. “That‘s why there is sometimes a big difference between volumes of vitamin A and D between manufacturers.”
Effective and efficient
The company sought to overcome “the inherent fishy overtones” of most cod liver oil products. They found the answer was to infuse the product with natural extracts.
As a result, Dropi brand cod liver oil comes in fennel, ginger, mandarin and spearmint flavors.
True Westfjords states the extracts and their authentic process allow them to forgo fortifying the product with other preservatives.
“The old version of the cod liver oil was probably rancid, and I can‘t imagine it tasted good, but it served its purpose; to provide our ancestors with crucial vitamin D in the hard winter times,” Bjarnason expounds.
“What we did was to speed up this process, so the oil does not become rancid but maintains its freshness. Our procedure is therefore mainly to shorten the time it takes to extract the oil from the liver.”
Back to basics with a modern twist
Innova Market Insights highlights that consumers increasingly prize the “functionality, freshness and authenticity” of their nutritional and food products.
Furthermore, Innova listed “Back to the Roots” as number seven of its Top Ten Trends for 2022.
“What makes Dropi unique is that it‘s cold processed from fresh material,” says Bjarnason. “We receive the liver fresh on ice, no later than 24 hours after the fish was caught. We never heat the oil over 42°C, so vitamin A and D are preserved during the process.”
“The only thing we add to the oil is a natural preservative, which is a must to prevent oxidation, and organic extract with our flavored oil.”
In the ancient extraction process, the liver was collected in a basin/container with a small hole in it and was kept outside, Bjarnason details.
“The oil would be extracted naturally into another basin/container under the one with the liver. Before the Vikings or early settlers went to the fishing grounds in the morning, they used to have some cod liver oil from the container each morning.”
Maximizing health benefits
True Westfjords states that a single serving of their cod liver oil contains about 1,200 mcg of omega 3s, 13 mcg of vitamin D and 1,130 mcg of vitamin A.
Bjarnason notes that the content of the product varies slightly from batch to batch, depending on the size of the fish, but mostly on their diet. “We once extracted orange oil because that particular catch of cod were fed on krill.”
Cod liver oil is not only considered to be a good and natural source of vitamins D and A but also of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. A recent study reveals that taking omega 3s every day can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Other research has found that combining vitamin D and omega 3s can significantly reduce the risks of cancer in the elderly.
Vitamin A has been found to have therapeutic benefits for mucous membranes, skin and other tissues, which may foster healing and boost the immune system. Moreover, researchers in the UK recently announced they would conduct a two-year study to test the hypothesis that vitamin A may help restore the sense of smell for the millions around the world who have lost it as a result of viral infections, including infections with COVID-19.
Bjarnason states that they are always looking for new ways to get the benefits of their product out to more people. “We are always in development of both the product and packaging,” he says.
“The next product from Dropi might be specifically made for children.”
By William Bradford Nichols
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.