Heat and fish oil don’t go well together
Every year, in July and August, I get dozens of emails asking me if fish oil supplements will go bad if shipped in hot weather.
The answer is: well, it depends.
It depends on two things:
- How hot it is
- Whether your bottle of fish oil will sit in your hot mailbox for hours
As a rule, if it gets hotter than 100 degrees at our shipping offices in California, we will not ship. We will wait a couple of days until it cools. We also have a Michigan ware that ships during those delays.
Of course, you’ll get an email from us letting you know if there is a delay.
US Postal Service
We ship using US Postal Service and as long as the product is under their care, we have found that products don’t get too hot.
The problems start when the bottle of fish oil is left in a hot mailbox.
Or if there is no one to receive the shipment or if there is no shade outside your front door. Even if it is 90 degrees, and the mailman can leave the shipment in a shady spot on your porch, the pills will be fine.
Heat and oxygen are enemies of Omega-3
OmegaVia is produced in an oxygen-free environment and after manufacturing, the gelatin capsule keeps oxygen from reaching the oil in the pills. But there is not much we can do to prevent heat damage if the bottle is left in a hot mailbox for a few hours.
A few hours in a hot mailbox can not only make the oil rancid, it can melt the gelatin capsule.
Once the gelatin melts, oil leaks out and makes a gooey mess. If this happens to your product, discard the bottle. Once the fish oil is exposed to air, rancidity (oxidation) sets in very quickly.
An Easy Trick!
There is an easy way to tell if your pills have been heat abused or melted even before you open the bottle – shake the bottle! If you hear fish oil pills rattling in the bottle, all is well. If you hear a thunk-thunk, the pills have melted and clumped together. It may not have leaked yet, but the damage may have already begun if you hear a thunk instead of a rattle.
When you shake the bottle…
- Rattle is good.
- Thunk is bad.
- Sloshing is really bad.
Melting and clumping are very rare.
What typically happens during a heat wave is that the pills get close to 85 or 90 degrees for short periods of time – a few hours. This won’t melt the pills or make your omega-3 rancid. No harm done.
Unless you live in Phoenix or Palm Springs where the temperature can reach 110 in the shade. We worry about that. We don’t like to ship to Phoenix between June and September.
We don’t worry about Florida – humidity does not affect gelatin melting point or Omega-3 oxidation.
How ’bout ice-packs?
We don’t use ice packs and styrofoam boxes because of the high costs and the limited cooling time it offers.
Here are some practical options:
1. Get your Summer stock…in Spring!
Many of our AutoShip customers get their entire summer supply of OmegaVia shipped to them in May. Or April.
2. Track your shipment. If the weather is extra-hot, request tracking numbers for your packages so you know which day to expect your shipment, so it does not sit in the mailbox.
3. Different shipping address. Have the package delivered to your work place, a neighbor, your church etc., where someone can bring the fish oil inside from the heat.