Quality Assessment of Omega-3 Supplements Available in the Brazilian Market


J. Braz. Chem. Soc.




Omega-3 fish oil supplements are widely consumed as source of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, presenting beneficial effects on human health. This study aimed to evaluate fifteen brands of omega-3 fish oil supplements available in Brazilian market in order to estimate the Brazilian reality regarding those supplements. Twelve fatty acids were quantified by gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID), and lipid profile were obtained via mass spectrometry fingerprinting using direct electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) to assess the form in which fatty acids are present as well as the possible fraud existence. Among all analyzed samples, thirteen brands were revealed as EPA and DHA sources (90.2-440.3 and 77.8-302.3 mg g-1lipid, respectively) in triacylglycerols (TAG) or ethyl esters (EE) form. However, two brands were discovered with addition of large amounts of soybean oil, leading the final consumer to ingest this low-cost oil believing that they are consuming adequate doses of EPA and DHA.

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