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Background

I have some cod liver oil to take a supplement, but the taste is sufficiently unpleasant that I am not sure how to finish the bottle off. In the past, I have found emulsified cod liver oil fully tolerable, even pleasant, and I would like to know if it would be simple to make a similar product at home from raw cod liver oil.

The Twinlab website states that the product is

emulsified with natural soy lecithin and apple pectin making the EPA and DHA more readily available to the digestive system for better absorption, assimilation and utilization.

And the ingredients are (in order):

  • water
  • cod liver ois
  • glycerin
  • sorbitol
  • soy lecithin
  • cellulose
  • orange flavors
  • tragacanth gum resin
  • apple pectin
  • alpha tocopherol
  • ascorbyl palmitate
  • beta carotene

But it is not clear to me which of these ingredients are required, what quantities, or how to blend them.

Questions

  1. Is there a way that I can emulsify cod liver at home in such a way that will accomplish this?
  2. Are there any other suggestions for how to consume cod-liver oil without having either the initial taste or the residual flavor in the mouth and breath?
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Can you describe the difference? Maybe somebody else already knows the answer but I am only familiar with the term emulsification as referring to an actual emulsion or occasionally in the case of creating a gel or foam. The former doesn't make much sense here and I'm not sure if I should be assuming the latter to be correct, since it generally doesn't affect the taste at all, it involves the incorporation of air. –  Aaronut Dec 27 '10 at 2:28
    
@Aaronut I think that the term emulsification is used in the standard sense, that the oil is mechanically blended with a more tasty water-based solution to create a palatable product. I have read that the water based solution includes citrus flavoring and pectin. –  David Dec 27 '10 at 3:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This should be no problem. It is basically the same process as making a vinaigrette, only using water instead of vinegar, and lecithin instead of mustard. Here's how I would go about it. Let's say you have 1 cup of oil to emulsify. Go buy soy lecithin at a health food store. Take 1/2 cup of water, and dissolve 1 teaspoon of the soy lecithin in it. Use a blender or immersion blender. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the cod liver oil. It will emulsify - the oil will disperse into ultra-fine droplets in the water, and presumably the taste will be both diluted and somewhat hidden by being locked up in little droplets. If this doesn't work, you just need more lecithin, so dissolve a bit more in another 1/4 cup of water and drizzle the whole thing back in to the blender.

Naturally you'll want to take 50% more, since the oil is now only 2/3 of the volume.

Those other ingredients are for flavor and anti-oxidation, not needed for the basic thing you are trying to accomplish.

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I'd try to find the liquid lecithin for this - it would just be a little easier - but any lecithin will do. The ingredients also list a bunch of fruit flavours - apple pectin and orange flavouring - so some sort of fruit extract would help, maybe even apple or orange juice. –  Aaronut Dec 27 '10 at 16:04

Ok I can give you an idea on what to do but it is a long shot.

From what i see they use

1 Emulsifier •soy lecithin

3 Thickeners •tragacanth gum resin •apple pectin •cellulose

1 Swetener •sorbitol

1 flavour •orange flavors

The rest is Vitamins. You dont need to add them.

So you can use sugar instead of sorbitol.

Soy lecithin should not be hard to find. I am making a fish oil emulsion using whey protein isolate. You can try that one to. If you want something that is in all kitchens I can sugest egg whites.

For thichener if you dont want to find this "exotic stuff" you can try using gelatin you can find in all supermarkets.

Flavour you can really use any flavour you like it does not have to be orange ^^.

Now the tricky part is to find the proper proportions between oil/water and emulsifier.

This needs experimentation and it is different with each emulsifier.

The good part is that you can use any oil like used cooking oils for the experimentation you dont have to use expenssive fish oil. Make the emulsion and leave it for a day. If it has not split after 24h it is a success!

Use the fastest rotating mixer you have and leave it running for more than 3 minutes. (must be really really powerfull if you want to stand a chance, you Cannot do it with a joke mixer.

If you want to avoid experimentation you can try an emulsion using 67% fish oil, 3 % whey protein isolate 30 % water. It works.

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