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Raw material information


Tuna oil is an important part of the Omega-3 story because,

unlike other marine oils, its  level of 22:6n-3 (DHA) is about

4-5 times its level of 20:5n-3 (EPA). Tuna and bonito are

caught in all the oceans of the world. These landings

have been increasing since 1950 and reached 5 million

metric tons in 2002. Skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and

Yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) account for  about 66% of

the Tuna landings, while 18 other minor species represent the

remaining 34% (FAO, 2006b). Over 160 countries are engaged

in the catching of Tuna; however, 16 countries the other 24%.

The two largest producers, Japan and  Indonesia, together

only account for about 26% of the catch (FAO, 2006c).


The raw material used for the production of Tuna oil come from

the by products of the Tuna canning industry. In most cases, only

the loins of the fish are used for canning.


Generally, the dark meat, viscera, heads and frames

are used in the production of Tuna fishmeal and Tuna oil.

The companies that produce the highest-quality Tuna oil

separate the heads from the remaining waste stream

and process them separately. The heads yield the highest

ratio of DHA to EPA and a better-quality oil. The oil

recovered from the other waste is either used in animal feeds

or burned in the plant boilers as a fuel oil.