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Post-launch monitoring of foods and supplements with Krill oil and oil from microalgae Schizochytrium sp.

Voedingsmiddelen en -supplementen met krillolie en olie uit een microalg : Monitoring na de productlancering


Since a few years foods and food supplements that contain oil from microalgae Schizochytrium sp. and Krill oil, have been introduced to the Dutch market. Krill are small shrimp-like crustaceans. The oils are rich of EPA and DHA, known as 'healthy' fish fatty acids. Studies from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) reveal that the consumption of foods and food supplements with these fatty acids will not do any harm to our health. Only at extreme high intakes the most conservative tolerable upper level would be surpassed by 10 percent of the older children and adults. Such a scenario is little realistic. At least 25 food supplements with krill oil and 8 food supplements with DHA rich oil from microalgae Schizochytrium sp. could be identified on the Dutch market per May 2014. No foods with krill oil and 3 foods with DHA rich oil from microalgae were found, mainly meal replacers and meal bars. The dose that EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) considers as safe to adults (5 gram per day) is not reached by children and adults. The German Federal Risk Assessment Agency deals with a more conservative tolerable upper level of 1,5 gram per day. That level is only surpassed in the worst-case scenario in which the consumer follows the Dutch guideline for fish consumption (450 milligram per day), consumes a daily supplement with EPA and DHA (at a level of 645 milligram per day), and consumes all available products enriched with EPA and DHA. Adverse effects in humans associated with high intakes of EPA and DHA comprise bleeding episodes, impaired immune function, increased lipid peroxidation, and impaired lipid and glucose metabolism. To perform this research (RIVM) developed a procedure to monitor in what foods and to what levels an ingredient has been added (post-launch monitoring). The method can be applied to novel food ingredients, so foods that are introduced to the European market after May 1997 and for which it is required to assess whether they are safe before introduction to the market. With post-launch monitoring it might be tested whether the daily tolerable level of the novel ingredient will indeed not be exceeded.

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