Researchers at Rutgers University, NJ, have developed a rapid method using a portable FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) Spectrometer to distinguish between synthesised Omega-3 ethyl esters and natural unprocessed fish oil. Using a commercial liquid transmission accessory, small samples of fish oil at three thicknesses (25,50 and 100 microns) permit the differentiation by focussing on different vibrational bands. A survey of fish oil capsules sold on the US market found about 80% of the products tested that are marketed as fish oil, contain oil that has been chemically altered from natural fish oil.

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