There are three primary collagen sources, bovine from cattle, porcine from pigs and marine from fish. Marine collagen is superior due to its bioavailability, which is a function of its molecular size. However, not all marine collagen is created equal. The raw materials that make up hydrolysed marine collagen either come from wild-caught sources, or from fish farms. The source of the marine collagen starting material matters, and directly impacts the marine collagen peptides’ quality.
Wild-Caught Fish vs. Farmed Fish
Unless your collagen supplier explicitly tells you their source of collagen is wild-caught or sustainable, their raw material source is likely from farmed fish. Sadly these practices impact the raw materials’ quality and cause untold environmental impacts to the surrounding waterways and ecosystem. Fish farms place thousands of fish within small circular nets in riverways and the ocean. The fish are crowded together in an artificial environment. Waste products from faeces, uneaten food and dead fish build up and leach into the surrounding water contaminating the ecosystem and local environment. High disease rates from parasites and bacteria are typical due to the overcrowding; these force the farmers to utilise chemicals and antibiotics to control bacterial overgrowth. Similar to the waste, these spill into the surrounding ecosystems. Finally, these farmed fish need food to grow, which often comes from wild-caught fish sources. The amount of feed required to produce one kg of fish is often 10x the amount of the farmed fish produced.
At Iluminos, our Nordic Marine collagen only comes from wild-caught honestly sustainable deep-sea Cod (Gadus morhua). The Cod is sourced from the crystal-clear pure waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with the fishing vessels home base in three sites along the Norwegian coast. The fishing vessels range from the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and back to Norway to capture the wild-caught Cod.
Illegal wild-caught fishing practices are common throughout the fishing industry. As a result, we selected a supplier with the highest traceability standards. Our collagen can be traced back to raw material, fishing vessels and catch details. Certificates contain the species, fishing vessel name, vessel registration, catch area, landing date and sale note. These practices ensure full traceability throughout the supply chain eliminating the possibility of illegal fishing and upholding the gold standards of sustainable fishing.
FIsh Scales vs Fish Skin
Our Iluminos Nordic Marine collagen is exclusively sourced from the deep sea cod’s skin, not the scales of farmed fish. This allows for gentler processing agents (enzymes) to hydrolise the collagen into bioavailable collagen peptides. The process of converting the fish skin into collagen is done to the highest food quality and safety standards under the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
Rigorous testing is conducted at all stages of the supply chain to ensure low heavy metals and chemicals in the finished product. The fish skin is a by-product of the wild-caught Cod, with the flesh highly sought after due to its white colour and taste. As a result, the entire process of collagen sourcing is environmentally friendly. The methods of processing have been improved over the centuries, now producing purified collagen peptides however the tradition of catching the wild Cod is ingrained in the Nordic people. Traditionally the fish were dried on racks in the clean freezing air.
At Iluminos we care about what goes into our Nordic Marine Collagen. Only the best wild-caught cod from the purest waters in the world. We don’t compromise on quality, so you don’t have to. And it’s good for you, and the planet.