Comparative analysis of the fatty acid composition of commercially available fish oil supplements in Turkey: Public health risks and benefits

Karslı B.

JOURNAL OF FOOD COMPOSITION AND ANALYSIS, vol.103, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 103
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jfca.2021.104105
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Analytical Abstracts, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Omega-3 supplements, EPA, DHA, Fatty acid, Quality index, Human health, LIPID OXIDATION, PROFILE, INDEXES, QUALITY, DEPURATION, PRODUCTS, LINNAEUS, DISEASE, MILK
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Fish oil supplements have gained popularity in recent years due to their many health benefits, leading to a rapid increase in the number of fish oil supplements available to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, the fatty acid composition (FA) of 15 commercial fish oil supplements including syrups (SYR) and capsules (CAP) from the Turkish marketplace was analyzed and some quality indices were evaluated. In addition, EPA and DHA content of FA was compared with their label claims. Fish oil supplements were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine their fatty acid composition and content. In fish oil supplements, the content of EPA ranged from 3.51 % to 20.51 %, and the contents of DHA ranged from 3.28%52.42%. The label claims for EPA presented a reasonable accuracy for products examined, but it was observed that the DHA levels of some supplements showed a considerable difference with the labels. EPA and DHA levels of fish oil capsules on the Turkish retail market were more consistent with their claimed label content compared to fish oil syrups. The n3/n6 and PUFA/SFA ratios in the supplements were greater than those recommended by the FAO/WHO. The atherogenicity index (AI) and thrombogenicity index (TI) were below the maximum recommended limit value (1) in terms of coronary heart disease risk. Moreover, most of the supplements had higher lipid quality indices, including fish lipid quality (FLQ), hypocholesterolemic/Hypercholesterolemic (h/H) ratio, health-promoting index (HPI), polyene index (PI), and unsaturation index (UI).