Even as early as the 1920s it was already known that certain fatty acids are essential to the good health and growth of animals.

Later research showed that one of these essential fatty acids is omega-3. Oily fish and fish oils are important sources of omega-3. In the compound feed industry (animal feed and pet food), fish oils, including E.F.S.’s salmon oil, are a frequently-used form for the addition of omega-3.

Last year there has been a discussion about the fatty acid composition of fish oils and in particular the unsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid composition in salmon oil is influenced by the salmon’s diet. In nature, salmon absorbs unsaturated fatty acids by eating plankton, algae and small species of fish. Today we almost exclusively eat farmed salmon, due to the insufficient availability of wild salmon. This has the advantage that the raised salmon is available year-round and that a consistent quality can be guaranteed. One of the quality aspects which is of importance to the compound feed industry is the fatty acid composition, which can be managed via salmon feed. Changes in feed have altered the fatty acid composition of salmon over the last two decades, yet E.F.S. has seen a clear stagnation in the fatty acid composition in the past year. In 2015, the omega-3 levels in E.F.S. Scottish salmon oil were at 18-20% and 14% in the E.F.S. Norwegian salmon oil.

The two most important omega-3 fatty acids, which are often referred to, are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These two fatty acids receive a lot of attention due to their positive health effects in animals. Literature shows that different fatty acids in salmon oil, which have received almost no attention to date, also have positive qualities for animals. One example of these fatty acids is the omega-9 fatty acid; oleic acid. Which is present in high levels in both of our salmon oils. Oleic acid is also found in foods such as olives and in olive oil which is considered a healthy oil. Health effects of this fatty acid are, amongst others, its immunity-stimulating properties and it provides macrophages with an enhanced antifungal capacity.

In short, salmon oil remains a respected foodstuff and it may even have more health benefits than previously thought.