Because we purchase only troll-caught fish weighing 14 lbs or less, Vital Choice albacore contains substantially less mercury than is found in standard canned albacore.
The mercury content of individual fish will vary, but tests by Oregon State University show that the smaller, younger albacore tuna caught by the troll fishery that supplies our tuna average less mercury than the generally much larger, older tuna caught for canning by national brands.
And because we choose only smaller fish from this certified-sustainable troll fishery, testing by independent laboratories confirm that Vital Choice albacore averages substantially less mercury than national brands of "white" (albacore) tuna. Those test results have ranged from 0.08 ppm to 0.20 ppm. The average mercury content of Vital Choice albacore is 0.14 ppm.
In contrast, the FDA-reported average mercury concentration in fresh and canned albacore is 0.34 ppm... almost 2.5 times more mercury than the average amount in Vital Choice tuna (click here to see the FDA chart).
The FDA's average figure (0.34 ppm) is higher than our average (0.14 ppm) precisely because the FDA tested standard canned albacore, most of which is older and larger than ours.
In addition to being the purest fish, our smaller albacore also have higher average levels of omega-3s per pound.
This is in contrast to larger, long-line caught albacore canned by national brands, which are higher in mercury and lower in healthy fats per pound. Furthermore, these larger fish are cooked twice, which further reduces their omega-3 levels.
You will find more information about the mercury levels of common seafoods by visiting our "Purity" page or by clicking here.