The testing and certification are conducted by Orivo, also a Norwegian firm.
To test the products, Orivo dispatches mystery shoppers to purchase the products from the stores. They are then tested using a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Xu Yan, sales director of Function Marine Technology, which oversees the distribution of NY-O3 products in China, said the brand wanted to distinguish itself from the market competition.
“There are quite a number of local Chinese krill oil brands in the consumer market, but in general, the quality of the products varies from brand to brand. Some have added cooking oil or fish oil into their products.
“Ours is pure krill oil and to show that to the consumers, we have decided to work with a third-party testing lab,” Xu said.
She added that through the mystery shopper route, the company could also identify if there were copy products sold in the market.
NY-O3 uses krill oil from Aker Biomarine, and its products are sold in China via general trade in supermarkets, TCM shop Tong Ren Tang, TV shopping, as well as online.
Orivo conducts the krill oil authentication process based on the NMR technology.
The procedure is akin to a ‘fingerprinting’ process, where the company has accumulated a bank of data on the similarities of pure krill oil that various crude krill oil suppliers have harvested from the Antarctica region.
The similarities of different pure krill oil samples are sieved out using a proprietary machine learning algorithm. From there, the company creates its own chemical fingerprinting of krill oil harvested from Antarctica.
When testing an end product, the company will compare as much as 130,000 data points of the krill oil product with its chemical fingerprint bank.
This means that the process can verify both the species and geographic origin of the krill oil products.
“As we are dealing with natural substances, no two samples are 100 % alike, but most of the 130,000 data points match each other when we compare krill oil samples harvested in the same area of the world.
“A positive match will then guarantee that nothing has happened from the source to the finished product. No other oil has been blended into the product and the consumer can be sure the product consists of pure krill oil,” Orivo’s CEO Svein Erik Haugmo said.