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CLO: Our Process

By Dan Corrigan   ∙   June 03, 2020   ∙   0 Comments

How is Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil processed from start to finish?

Here’s a detailed illustration and explanation of how your cod liver oil is is created, from fish to bottle using our gentle, chemical-free and heat-free ancient method. 

What is done to ensure the freshness of your cod liver oil?

We have gone to great lengths and expense to create an antioxidant package that will keep Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver fresh during transit, storage and consumption. Due to cod liver oil’s short shelf life, Rosita drew upon the expertise of scientists, researchers and university professors to determine the proper antioxidants that were both effective, and most importantly, completely natural. Only tiny amounts of natural antioxidants are added, which is simply the bare minimum required to stabilize the oil. In addition: 

  • Temperatures are kept very low during bottling.
  • No reactive metal ever comes in contact with the livers or the oil.
  • Production is carried out in the absence of oxygen.
  • The time between catching the cod and bottling the oil is very short (within hours).
  • And smaller bottles are used to ensure the oil would be consumed long while it’s still of the utmost freshness.

Why is it necessary to add antioxidants to Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil?

Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil is the first fresh, wild and raw cod liver oil to be made available to the health consumer. It’s a true revolution in the cod liver oil world. Our cod liver oils are in exactly the same form as you would find them in the liver of a living codfish.

Just as a codfish begins the process of deterioration the moment it is removed from the ocean and dies, so does its liver and liver oils. Freshly produced raw cod liver oil (just released by the liver) is colorless or has a light golden color and a mild taste. To preserve the freshness of our completely unrefined oils, we add tiny amounts of full- spectrum natural (GMO-free) vitamin E (not isolated vitamin E) and the plant rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).

Rosemary, native to the Mediterranean region, has been used as a medicinal herb since 500 B.C.* It has long been associated with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and used to support digestion (when used in tea), circulation, memory and wound healing. 

One method the ancient Norse people (including the Vikings) used to obtain cod liver oil was by steaming fresh livers that were placed on birch tree branches. Birch bark is well known for its antioxidant activity. Birch bark was even dried and ground by the Vikings and used as a very nutritious (and antioxidant-rich) addition to the diet.

Cod liver oil comparison #1Image #1 shows two bottles of wild and raw extra virgin cod liver oil freshly extracted using an ancient Viking technique that utilizes no heat, chemicals, solvents, pressure or liver decomposition. Extremely small amounts of natural vitamin E and Rosemary have been added to the bottle on the left. No antioxidants have been added to the bottle on the right.

Cod liver oil comparison #2Image #2 shows the same two bottles after sitting on a bench at room temperature for 24 hours. The bottle on the right is starting to turn a darker color. The pen in the background is still visible.

Cod liver oil comparison #3Image #3 again shows the same two bottles after sitting on a bench at room temperature for three days. The bottle on the left containing very small amounts of Rosemary and vitamin E is still as fresh as the day it was extracted while the bottle on the right has accelerated the process of deterioration. The pen in the background is no longer visible and the oil has gained a pungent smell.

Do the Rosita oils undergo any form of refining?

Definitely not. Conventional fish oil refining steps include degumming, bleaching, deodorization, neutralization and exposure to high temperatures. These processes commonly degrade the oil, damage the fragile unsaturated fatty acids, and remove the oil’s natural flavors, colors and nutrients. High-temperature distillation results in the loss of volatile nutrients and negatively affects levels of vitamins, cholesterol, unsaponifiable compounds, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It also results in a distorted ratio of the omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (DHA and EPA).

We believe that such oils are not natural and do not resemble the form of oil our ancestors once consumed. And that’s why Rosita is completely unprocessed. 

Rosita handcrafted cod liver oil is 100% fresh raw cod liver fat produced without ever subjecting the liver or its oil to chemical treatments, solvents, rendering, steam, Peter Möller’s method, distillation, decomposition, putrefaction, alkali refining, bleaching, winterization or deodorization. Utilizing a natural extraction process first observed by the ancient Vikings, our process naturally exudes all of the oil from the liver. The resulting oils are then extensively analyzed for organic contaminants and freshness using  predominant European Institutes.

Are the livers used to produce Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil frozen?

No they are not. The coldest temperatures the livers are subjected to mimics the temperature the wild codfish liver is exposed to in the ocean during a specific season.

Why is Rosita’s cod liver oil given the moniker “Extra Virgin”?

The terms “virgin” and “extra virgin” are very different. The term “virgin” is used very loosely within the industry and has no precise definition. There are fish oil manufacturers who extract their oil at temperatures of approximately 212°F (100°C) and still call their final product virgin! This results in oil which is anything but natural. In many instances, the consumer is not aware of the quality and freshness of their cod liver oil and whether the oil is from genuine cod livers.

Rosita has been granted permission by the Norwegian authorities to market our cod liver oil as extra virgin. We’re also the only company who know of and use the exclusive Rosita ancient production method, which preserves valuable nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins, natural sterols, antioxidants, and minor ingredients and produces authentic “living” oil. Absolutely no heat, steam, rendering, chemical treatments, alkali refining, bleaching, winterization and deodorization are ever used.

Our genuine Norwegian cod liver oil has been sustainably produced using ancient methods and craftsmanship which are rare in today’s cod liver oil world. The result is Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil of exceptional quality, which is just as pure and authentic as it was for our Norse ancestors hundreds of years ago.

Is the Rosita ancient production technique the oldest Nordic method used for extracting liver oils?

The rarest of all methods employed by the ancient Norse people, and unknown in today’s cod liver oil world, is the ancient extraction method revived and used by Rosita for the very first time to produce our oils. This ancient method allows the fresh livers to naturally release the raw golden oil they contain without any intervention whatsoever.

There was also another method employed by the ancient Norse Vikings which was reserved only for ratfish (but unsuitable for codfish, whose liver and oil have a shorter shelf life). Rosita replicated this process for the very first time for all to see (below). The method involved hanging a ratfish up by its tail.

Ratfish hanging from tail

The fish is left to hang from its tail.

After a certain period of time has elapsed, pale/golden colored oil from its large oily liver will start to accumulate and drip from the end of its nose.

Ratfish close-up

Pale/golden colored liver oil accumulating around the nose of the fish

The ancient Norse people and Vikings would collect this very special oil and consume it during times of stress and whenever they saw fit to do so. The oil is remarkably clear, pale/golden-colored and sweet smelling.