International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS)

International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) is a third-party certification program focusing exclusively on testing the purity, potency, and freshness of omega-3 fish oil products. IFOS certified products are tested according to standards more stringent than those set by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The program is available to both finished product manufacturers (supplement brands) and suppliers of raw materials.

Raw Material Certification

To receive certification, manufacturers of raw materials must:

  • Manufacture products in facility approved and registered as a food/dietary supplement manufacturing facility with an appropriate certification
  • Be registered in accordance with the regulatory authorities’ requirements where the product is produced
  • Employ analytical methods meeting the IFOS standard of testing
  • Individually inspect and review each lot of certified IFOS raw material for IFOS program compliance
  • Manufacture products that meet with IFOS 5-Star Rating Criteria

Product Certification

IFOS tests fish oil products on a batch/lot-specific basis for:

  • Active ingredient(s) content compared to the label claim
  • Contaminants including total PCBs, dioxins and furans, dioxin-like PCBs
  • Heavy metals including mercury, lead, inorganic arsenic, and cadmium
  • Stability (peroxide, anisidine, total oxidation, acid value)

Each product is then rated on a 5-star system based on test results.

To receive certification, each brand and finished product must have:

  • Passed all IFOS testing categories
  • Met the label claim for active ingredient concentration
  • An oxidation level less than 75% of CRN standard
  • PCB level less than 50% of CRN standard
  • Dioxin levels less than 50% of WHO standard
  • Product Reports containing detailed results for each batch/lot number tested are publicly available on the IFOS website.

To learn more, visit the IFOS website.