Bloomingdale, IL—Members of the NOW Methods Development team have published a test method that accurately identifies the presence and measures levels of inorganic arsenic in krill oil according to a press release:Arsenic Speciation in Krill and Other Marine Oils by Liquid Chromatography—Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometryby Katarzyna Banaszewski, Anna Plocicka-Okladlo, and Aaron Secrist.

In 2017, the release says, the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) released a monographed standard to help promote quality krill oil identification and purity testing. Included in these requirements, along with standards for EPA, DHA, phospholipids and astaxanthin, is a limit for inorganic arsenic, the form of arsenic toxic to humans. However, the method defined in the FCC monograph is not able to accurately differentiate between the chemical species of arsenic, and the complexity of the krill oil matrix requires suitable sample preparation to liberate arsenic species and allow for precise quantitation of inorganic arsenic.
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The NOW Methods Development team conducted a study to develop and validate a procedure for a more accurate determination of inorganic arsenic in krill oil samples, and determined that a more specific method is HPLC-ICP-MS, as described in the study.

Aaron Secrist, VP of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, said in the release: “We determined that available test methods did not go far enough in ensuring that krill oil we were sourcing for our supplements met our purity and safety standards. We published the method in keeping with NOW’s long-standing practice of sharing test methods we develop with the industry.”