WellWise has had inquiries about the availability of organic krill oil from consumers who are concerned, we assume, with quality and purity.
In truth, there is no such thing as organic krill oil. The term organic really can’t apply to any marine seafood from the ocean, because USDA organic certification requires very controlled environments in which things such as feeding, housing, non-use of chemicals can be monitored. The ocean offers no such environments.
However, the krill that is harvested for human use (and for feeding farmed fish) live in the pure Antarctic waters, eating algae that forms on the bottom of Antarctic sea ice. Because krill are at the bottom of the food chain the typical ocean toxins, such as mercury, that accumulate in larger fish (from eating other fish that contain toxins) do not accumulate in krill.
Krill oil extraction
The process for extracting the nutrients contained in krill (oil, astaxanthin, etc.) is similar to the process for extracting oil from corn or soybeans. All such extraction processes involve the use of solvents, such as hexane. However, these substances do not remain with the processed oil in any significant amount.
Since organic krill oil doesn’t exist, consumers who are concerned about quality and purity will do well to remember that, as with all dietary supplements, price and quality go hand in hand. If you are paying substantially less for one brand of krill oil than another, you are likely getting a lesser quality product.