Standard canned tuna suffer drastic declines in omega-3 levels and flavor; makers' over-processing practices blamed

by Craig Weatherby and Randy Hartnell

The Times of London features a regular reader-queries column called “Food Detective”. On September 3, 2005, the Times ran a response to a reader's question about the omega-3 levels of canned tuna.

The columnist's accurate answer validated the things we've said about Vital Choice Albacore Tuna so clearly that we couldn't resist the impulse to share it with our readers.

Here's what the Times had to say:

“Fresh tuna, like all oily fish, is a good source of omega-3 oil. However, this becomes irrelevant once the fish is canned, as during the canning process it loses so much of its valuable oil that it is no longer even classed as an oily fish, but is rated alongside white fish, which contains much lower levels of omega-3 oils.

“The reason for this is that… canned tuna is typically cooked before being canned, and then it goes through a second 'retort' cooking once it is in the can. Some specialty tuna, however, is packed raw, so that the natural juices and oils stay inside, and then cooked, just the once, in the cans—so this meat should contain higher levels of omega-3 oils.”

"Detective" agrees that size determines mercury
The column also confirmed that small, young albacore like the ones we offer contain relatively low levels of mercury compared to standard canned tuna, albacore or otherwise:

“Fish absorb mercury as they feed, and because tuna are predatory, feeding on smaller fish, they tend to accumulate higher concentrations as they grow older and bigger.”

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. When it comes to omega-3 content, Vital Choice cooked-once-in-the-can, minimal-mercury albacore tuna occupies the very tip of the tuna pinnacle. It's why so many customers say that ours beats all other canned tuna they've tried for taste and texture, hands down.