Fish oil from sea to shelf and the role of sustainability


Show Description:

Daniel Wiley shares how being receptive to business opportunities opened the door to becoming a global supplier of fish oils. The realization that fish oil was not just another product to process, but a healthful ingredient that enriches human lives. Hear the steps involved in getting omega-3s from the ocean to a bottle. Learn what is involved in managing fishing in a healthy, sustainable manner; the commitment to protect this natural, limited resource and the culture for future generations.

Topics Discussed:

3:26 Introduction to Wiley Companies evolution
5:05 AlaskOmega and Wild Alaskan Pollock
7:55 Wiley's US supply chain and manufacturing process
13:50 Sources of EPA & DHA
15:36 Fish being collectors of EPA & DHA
17:21 Addressing sustainability and overfishing concerns

Dan Wiley Bio:

Dan was trained as a mechanical engineer at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. He worked in aerospace immediately after university, but over the years he has become a chemical engineer by osmosis through working at Wiley Companies, holding a variety of positions in company leadership. He has been working with Omega-3 fish oils since 2008, helping to build and grow the AlaskOmega product line for Wiley from initial conception. Dan is passionate about Omega-3 EPA/DHA and how these ingredients can impact people’s lives for the better.

Resources Mentioned in this episode:

Wiley Companies -
MSC Seaspiracy response -

It always amazes me that you can gointo a store like Walmart or Casco or whole foods, and you can buy thisamazing nutrient for twenty dollars. Thirty L on the shelf- and you know thejust hundreds of millions of dollars of assets that stand behind that productgetting to you at a very reasonable price Micheli's. It's actually prettyamazing, hello and welcome to the science andthe story behind Omega Three: A podcast brought to you by Wiley companies,where we explore one of the most research nutrients on the planet.Listen in as Global Omega. Three experts and researchers translate thescience, reveal personal insights and share their stories of discovery whilenavigating the Sea of Omega Three Science. Thanks for joining us today. Now here'syour host Greg Lindsay Welcome back to another episode of theScience and the story behind Omega three, where we talk with experts fromall over the world. My guest today was trained as a mechanical engineer atGrove City College in Pennsylvania and worked an aerospace immediately afteruniversity in two thousand and eight he joined the now forty year old familybusiness that revolutionized the Omega three manufacturing process. It becamea chemical engineer by Osmosis through working at wily companies and helpbuild and grow the Alaska, make a product line from initial conception,he's passionate about a mega three fish oils and joins us today to talk abouthis families, turn key US supply chain and manufacturing process. We welcometo the program Dan Wiley. We are thrilled to have you with us to day Danare excited to venture behind the scenes of how Omega three supplementsare made. Your family has been in the business of making fish oilconcentrates for some time now. Would you share with us how that all gotstarted? Sure? Well, I kind of was an accident. We had the opportunity tolook at some under utilized streams of fish oil from some seafood companies inthe United States, and our business has been an custom manufacturing of variousnutritional products over the years, and so we looked at fish. Oil is justanother product to process, and so we, the more we learned about the sourceand the technology of manufacturing and and the benefits of what Omega threesdo in the body. I really became a compelling story that that we were allexcited to dig into and and really look at it more than just abusiness, but there's a way to put a healthy product into in a people'slives. So I know the Wily Company story andit's a pretty fascinating story. So do... recall the time when you made theconnection between being that everyday family owned business in small town,Ohio and then that business supplied nutrients that people need globally?What was that like for you and for your family? Well, I don't know if there was like atime when, like an Aha moment, to make the connection we have been in businessfor about forty years. This is our fortieth year and during that timewe've made products. Various different chemical products that have gone allover the world, we've been involved in main custom manufacturing of differentflavors, and things like the Terry Flavor that thatwas used in soft drinks such as Jerry Coke, we've supplied products, a andflavors and key raw materials that are used throughout the supply chain. So we've done kind of those things onsmall scale. Before the NEAT thing, I think about the fish oil that weproduce is that it was the first time that we took a step beyond just being acontract producer where we would make something for somebody else tothemselves. It was that we actually took the step to make our owningredient brand to then sell that and then to build upon that. My brother SamLetter, Wiley's finest consumer brand, so so we kind of went from the wholeend of the supply chain. SORING manufacturing down through to a finish bottle. That's on a shelf, it's fascinating to hear how Wyley hasevolved over the last forty years, but I want to take a moment to circle backsince you helped build and grow wilien brand Alaska Mega. How did you startthe brand and can you tell us why you chose to produce a makea threeconcentrates from Wild Alaska polic? Well, I wouldn't say that we chose whyof Alaska polic? I think that you know it chose us. You know it was. It was a veryfortuitous connection. You know through two different networks that we had ofjust you know. We're in our company has been historically and kind of a custommanufacturing mode, and so when you're at a trade show- and someone says hey,can you process fish oil? You know. I think I just have a bias towards sayingyes to everything, even if you sort of think it's crazy, like fish, really,okay yeah, but on the outside, you know I'm, like. Oh, of course, yeah. That'sthat's something we can do. We definitely take a look at it. Can weget some samples going to get your contact information? You know just goesfrom there, so I wouldn't say that we like sat down and said here's our tenyears strategic plan to process Alaska...

Pocol. I was really just being exposedto the opportunity. This was an under utilized resource. Fishill produced inAlaska was used primarily in Harcout, so as a eel food or a supplement forpet foods or it was used to to burn in you know these all engines and youcould blame twenty percent or thirty percent and with diesel fuel and andget a renewable diesel fuel credit. Well, this is really an important pieceof nutrition. It shouldn't be burned in a diesel engine, but you know a lot ofsupply chains. That's this. You know the very lowest value. The easiestthing is is often to burn something like this. It's got. It's got to be tovalue, so you burn it, but there's a nutritional value and the more that wedug into this particular raw material and the supplychain. We saw hey, there's something of value here, then, the more that weunderstood about what EPA and DA actually do in the body and how they,how they support kind of a head to tone, nutrition from heart, health and brain health and eye health and joinhealth and reducing inflammation. It became apparent. Well, this isn't justa way to make some money processing raw material. It's you know it's more thanthat, and that was I think that was something that wereally lashed on to and and the just some some great things that came out ofbeing able to process this and then bring that that product into the marketplace. So I think our listeners would beinterested in how we get from fish swimming in the ocean to purified fish oil supplements and abottle that they can buy on shelf fish swimming in the ocean. Well, howwe get from fish swim in the ocean to a bottle on the shelf is a really complex supply chain. So there'san industrial fishery like the Alaska polic fishery, that you know, hundredsof tons of fish are caught. You know by a fishing vessel and those fish arethen filed or rendered into fish meal and in the case of the Alaska policfishery, that's a that's a fishery for human consumption, so the fish are notcaught for fish oil they're caught for human nutrition needs such as flats.You know a lot of white fish, fried whitefish, sandwiches, Sereni, seafood,imitation crab. Those kinds of things are made from Alaska polic so that sthat's the primary purpose of catching Alaska, polic there's other parts ofthe fish that are delicacy is like the rose gains which is sold is men tico inin Japan, primarily and then other aspects of the fish that can be sold indifferent areas. But when all of that... done, the trimmings of the fish,whatever is whatever is left, is cooked. It's ground and it's cooked and justlike cooking a slice of Bacon. On a Gretel, the fat renders out during thatcooking process and then that separated through different kinds of center fuses-and you end up with what's called a crew fish oil and crude and fish meal,fish meals then sold into pet food and and ar quaffed markets. The fish oil isa crude boil, and then that comes to a refiner and the refiner will then takethat crew D, Oil that has all the Padha and all the fat content, and they willtake that through a number of different purification steps. Generally they'll.We do this and and many other manufacturers do this. You know you youremove any gums or or contaminant environmental contaminant that arepresent in e the fish oil. There may be some heavy metals that are removedduring this process as well, and then the fish oil, if it's designedto go straight into human consumption, is generally then just deodorized. Sothen it goes. It goes through a distillation process where the fish,flavors, Alta, hides and key tones are removed through high vacuumdistillation process that he heat the oil up under pressure. Remove it andthen you have what is called like a conlie oil or a natural oil or naturaltriglas right or something if instead you're going to to go to a concentrate. He would then take that oil and perform a chemical reaction whereyou're going to convert the oil into its slasher form. So the OL comes as atriglas ride. so it's three fatty acids on the glycero backbone and you want tobreak that up. So you break it up either end of fatty assets, individualfatty acids, but almost all official companies that the concentration atthis point make a make, what they call an ethel aster, which is an an eth andall and a and the fatty acid molecule joined together. That then allows the fish oil to beconcentrated through distillation, chromatography and freeze concentrationand a lot of other normal industrial chemical processes, and so a lot ofnatural products like soybean oils and different pharmaceuticals are allmanufactured in kind of similar types of ways, and so, once that Ethel Lester is thenconcentrated up into a desired panda ratio and purity level, then it wouldbe stabilized with an antiochene generally. Those are a vitamin naturalvitamin E, also called it Tacape, it's...

...blended in and then packaged into drumsor tinging. Whatever final package that the product sold into those products then are sent to anencapsulation plant where they'll be put in between two pieces of gelatineand kind of those two pieces of gelatine are are welded together almostunder heat and the oil is injected in between in between the pieces ofgelatine and those joe caps then contain the oil they're dried to acertain humidity level, putting a bottle sealed and, and then they hitoff to to wherever the retail location is sometimes the official oil is thenput into a bottle. If it's a liquid fish oil, it will be just bottled justlike salad dressing or something like that, and so that's really kind of along explanation Greg. But that's it is a very complex supply chain. You knowit always amazes me that you can go into a store like Walmart or Casco orwhole food, and you can buy this amazing nutrient for twentydollars or thirty dollars on the shelf, and you know the just hundreds of millionsof dollars of assets that stand behind that product getting to you at a veryreasonable price on the shelf. It's it's actually pretty amazing how it allhappens when you, when you get to see how this sausage is made. It is pretty amazing to hear you breakthat down for a stand. So you've talked about fish oil, but there are othersources of PA and DHA or make a three available. Where else can we find epanDH opin dicha are really synthesized in you know single cell organisms in Algaand plainton that floats in the ocean and so small creatures, like Copa, pods andand other small crustaceans. They eat that algae or eat the plankton and andthen they're, eaten and turned by Crow and and those crill or and othershrimps are in other. You phases is really the technical term they're eatenby fish, and you know so it's part of the food chain, so fish are kind oflike these collectors that go around the ocean and they just eat everythingthey can and they happen to eat a whole bunch of things that have epha and alot of other great nutrients. And that's why seafood is is such a great,a great thing, but there's really not I mean the the forms of epands. Thesources of PD mean all goes right back to to an ALGA source, an ALICA source,because that's that's really where the panda are artily synthesized in nature,like what you hear so far make sure you...

...never miss a show by clicking thesubscribe. But now this podcast is made possible by listeners like you. Thankyou for your support. Now, back to the show Dan, you opened up to fish beingcollectors of EPA and Dha I'd love for you to elaborate on that, and maybe youcan explain a little bit about the food chain as well. So it goes all the wayback to the single cell organism, algy that express boil in their gens andthey tend to express a certain amount of PA and DHA. So those algae are eatenby Crill. You phases or shrimps, they're, eaten by COPEPOD and smallcrustaceans, and those crustaceans and shrimps and cris are then eaten by fish.So as as you go up the food chain, you know and then in the fish are eaten bybirds and sea lions and sharks or or whales, or you know just, however, andthen finally and then finally you know people because men tends to be at thetop of the food chain. So you know we can trace the pin, the Dha all the wayback down to those little planton or algy growing inthe ocean, and you think about the the surface of the earth is covered by youknow: Seventy five percent water and the plainton that grow all over theocean in the water. I think it's more than it's more than like all the treeson earth. In terms of like it's plant matter, it's a huge. I mean it's justreally boggles to mind about how much algy there is out there in the ocean,and it doesn't really seem like there's that much because hey it's the ocean,you know there's a lot of water, but there's a huge amount of plant life.That's floating in the ocean, then, as you know, industrial fisherieshave been a hot topic in the news. Lately would love to get your take onthe concern surrounding sustainable fishing and overfishing. Yeah! That's a great question gray. Youknow Tester's been some sensational documentaries that have been put outabout fishing and and how harmful it is. And it's it's true that that overfishing is a problem globally and and that that many fisheries, most notably,I think the codfishery off the George's Bank you know had had his huge crash int e t s, and you know it's important to remember that. You know before N S N ts this idea of sustainable fishing. Just wasn't really a thing. I meanpeople. People thought that the fish in the ocean were an unlimited resource.You know, I think, that's you can...

...always think of the the same that youknow well, there's always more fish in the sea. Well, there's there's not, and so in the S and s and S, and eveneven through to today a lot of marine scientists looked at setting a fishingquotas and governments put in place like especially the US government. Ithink an European governments led the way in terms of saying, like Hay inthis fishery, we're going to study it, we're going to learn about it, we'regoing to learn about the breeding patterns, the the eating patterns andwe're going to only allow a certain amount of fish to be caught out of thisfishery because we don't want it to collapse. We want it to be fished in ahealthy manner that can be sustained for for generations, because it's anatural resource, just like you know clear, cut logging used to be a thing, and now there's targeted logging, whereit's like. Well, we're going to cut these trees were going to harvest thesetrees. Fishing is much the same way. It's a it's a public resource, it's apublic asset of each country and their territorial waters, and so each countrythat has a fishing culture and an efficient industry. They want to dowhatever they can to protect that resource for future generations. So I'mnot going to say that there's nothing bad about industrial fishing, but Iwould say, on the whole most of the g twenty countries do a very good job ofmanaging their fisheries. They have government observers theymonitor by catch the non target species that are caught along with fish andkill just point out that you know the fish oil that we use comes from Alaskapolic and it has, you know less than a one percent by catch. So ninety ninepercent of the fish that are caught are the target species and that's notbecause the fishermen are really good is because the fish school very tightlyand the way in which they're caught they can exclude other species likesalmon or cod, and you know, there's been a lot of areas in the oceans thatare closed to fishing because of maybe the sea bird or s lion habitant. Youknow this. This idea that fishing's bad, I think, is just really not looking atthe whole picture of all the work. That's done at an environmental levelat a governmental level and by the fishermen themselves to be responsibleto not catch too much to save some for next season to do what they can toprotect the environment. It's really some of the best people who are focusedon on the ecology and and the believers of the sustainable of the fishery arethe fishermen themselves, because you know sustain ability is not just aboutthe catch or how the fish are caught.

It's also about the lifestyle. There's a certainsustainable y to having a fishing culture. Some countries like Iceland orNorway having a fishing culture, is just incredibly important to them andto their future as a country, and so they all take it very seriously and dowhat they can to manage the fishery and the resource responsibly. Well, thankyou for broaching that topic and I, like your statement. Sustainable, isnot just about the catch. It's also about the lifestyle Dan we've run out of time today, but Iwant to thank you so much for being with this and allowing us to take adeep dive into a Makatee sure any time Gregg happy to do so, and I also want to think our listenerstoday and listeners as always be healthy, be well and fight the goodfight. This has been the science and the storybehind Omega Three. Thanks to our sponsor wily companies, you can findthem and more information about our show at Wiley, Cocom, F, podcast. Ifyou enjoy today's episode, don't forget to subscribe wherever you get yourpodcast thanks for listening and we'll catch you next time any statements on this podcast or theopinion of the scientific guests and or author, and have not yet been evaluatedby the F Da, the information we may provide to you as design foreducational purposes, only as not intended to be a substitute forinformed medical advice or care. This information should not be used todiagnose, treat or prevent any health issues or conditions without consultinga health care. Professional, if you are experiencing a health is you areconditioning. We suggest you consult with your health care, professional.

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