Episode 6 with Dan Wiley
Daniel Wiley shares how being receptive to business opportunities opened the door to becoming a global supplier of fish oils. The realization that fish oil was not just another product to process, but a healthful ingredient that enriches human lives. Hear the steps involved in getting omega-3s from the ocean to a bottle. Learn what is involved in managing fishing in a healthy, sustainable manner; the commitment to protect this natural, limited resource and the culture for future generations.
- Introduction to Wiley Companies evolution (3:26)
- AlaskOmega and Wild Alaskan Pollock (5:05)
- Wiley’s US supply chain and manufacturing process (7:55)
- Sources of EPA & DHA (13:50)
- Fish being collectors of EPA & DHA (15:36)
- Addressing sustainability and overfishing concerns (17:21)
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Any statements on this podcast are the opinion of the scientific guest and/or author and have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information we may provide to you is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any health issues or conditions without consulting a health care professional. If you are experiencing a health issue or condition, we suggest you consult with your health care professional.
It always amazes me that you can go into a store like Walmart or Casco or whole foods, and you can buy this amazing nutrient for twenty dollars. Thirty L on the shelf- and you know the just hundreds of millions of dollars of assets that stand behind that product getting to you at a very reasonable price Micheli’s. It’s actually pretty amazing, hello and welcome to the science and the story behind Omega Three: A podcast brought to you by Wiley companies, where we explore one of the most research nutrients on the planet. Listen in as Global Omega. Three experts and researchers translate the science, reveal personal insights and share their stories of discovery while navigating the Sea of Omega Three Science. Thanks for joining us today. Now here’s your host Greg Lindsay Welcome back to another episode of the Science and the story behind Omega three, where we talk with experts from all over the world. My guest today was trained as a mechanical engineer at Grove City College in Pennsylvania and worked an aerospace immediately after university in two thousand and eight he joined the now forty year old family business that revolutionized the Omega three manufacturing process. It became a chemical engineer by Osmosis through working at wily companies and help build and grow the Alaska, make a product line from initial conception, he’s passionate about a mega three fish oils and joins us today to talk about his families, turn key US supply chain and manufacturing process. We welcome to the program Dan Wiley. We are thrilled to have you with us to day Dan are excited to venture behind the scenes of how Omega three supplements are made. Your family has been in the business of making fish oil concentrates for some time now. Would you share with us how that all got started? Sure? Well, I kind of was an accident. We had the opportunity to look at some under utilized streams of fish oil from some seafood companies in the United States, and our business has been an custom manufacturing of various nutritional products over the years, and so we looked at fish. Oil is just another product to process, and so we, the more we learned about the source and the technology of manufacturing and and the benefits of what Omega threes do in the body. I really became a compelling story that that we were all excited to dig into and and really look at it more than just a business, but there’s a way to put a healthy product into in a people’s lives. So I know the Wily Company story and it’s a pretty fascinating story. So do you recall the time when you made the connection between being that everyday family owned business in small town, Ohio and then that business supplied nutrients that people need globally? What was that like for you and for your family? Well, I don’t know if there was like a time when, like an Aha moment, to make the connection we have been in business for about forty years. This is our fortieth year and during that time we’ve made products. Various different chemical products that have gone all over the world, we’ve been involved in main custom manufacturing of different flavors, and things like the Terry Flavor that that was used in soft drinks such as Jerry Coke, we’ve supplied products, a and flavors and key raw materials that are used throughout the supply chain. So we’ve done kind of those things on small scale. Before the NEAT thing, I think about the fish oil that we produce is that it was the first time that we took a step beyond just being a contract producer where we would make something for somebody else to themselves. It was that we actually took the step to make our own ingredient brand to then sell that and then to build upon that. My brother Sam Letter, Wiley’s finest consumer brand, so so we kind of went from the whole end of the supply chain. SORING manufacturing down through to a finish bottle. That’s on a shelf, it’s fascinating to hear how Wyley has evolved over the last forty years, but I want to take a moment to circle back since you helped build and grow wilien brand Alaska Mega. How did you start the brand and can you tell us why you chose to produce a makea three concentrates from Wild Alaska polic? Well, I wouldn’t say that we chose why of Alaska polic? I think that you know it chose us. You know it was. It was a very fortuitous connection. You know through two different networks that we had of just you know. We’re in our company has been historically and kind of a custom manufacturing mode, and so when you’re at a trade show- and someone says hey, can you process fish oil? You know. I think I just have a bias towards saying yes to everything, even if you sort of think it’s crazy, like fish, really, okay yeah, but on the outside, you know I’m, like. Oh, of course, yeah. That’s that’s something we can do. We definitely take a look at it. Can we get some samples going to get your contact information? You know just goes from there, so I wouldn’t say that we like sat down and said here’s our ten years strategic plan to process Alaska Pocol. I was really just being exposed to the opportunity. This was an under utilized resource. Fishill produced in Alaska was used primarily in Harcout, so as a eel food or a supplement for pet foods or it was used to to burn in you know these all engines and you could blame twenty percent or thirty percent and with diesel fuel and and get a renewable diesel fuel credit. Well, this is really an important piece of nutrition. It shouldn’t be burned in a diesel engine, but you know a lot of supply chains. That’s this. You know the very lowest value. The easiest thing is is often to burn something like this. It’s got. It’s got to be to value, so you burn it, but there’s a nutritional value and the more that we dug into this particular raw material and the supply chain. We saw hey, there’s something of value here, then, the more that we understood about what EPA and DA actually do in the body and how they, how they support kind of a head to tone, nutrition from heart, health and brain health and eye health and join health and reducing inflammation. It became apparent. Well, this isn’t just a way to make some money processing raw material. It’s you know it’s more than that, and that was I think that was something that we really lashed on to and and the just some some great things that came out of being able to process this and then bring that that product into the market place. So I think our listeners would be interested in how we get from fish swimming in the ocean to purified fish oil supplements and a bottle that they can buy on shelf fish swimming in the ocean. Well, how we get from fish swim in the ocean to a bottle on the shelf is a really complex supply chain. So there’s an industrial fishery like the Alaska polic fishery, that you know, hundreds of tons of fish are caught. You know by a fishing vessel and those fish are then filed or rendered into fish meal and in the case of the Alaska polic fishery, that’s a that’s a fishery for human consumption, so the fish are not caught for fish oil they’re caught for human nutrition needs such as flats. You know a lot of white fish, fried whitefish, sandwiches, Sereni, seafood, imitation crab. Those kinds of things are made from Alaska polic so that s that’s the primary purpose of catching Alaska, polic there’s other parts of the fish that are delicacy is like the rose gains which is sold is men tico in in Japan, primarily and then other aspects of the fish that can be sold in different areas. But when all of that is done, the trimmings of the fish, whatever is whatever is left, is cooked. It’s ground and it’s cooked and just like cooking a slice of Bacon. On a Gretel, the fat renders out during that cooking process and then that separated through different kinds of center fuses- and you end up with what’s called a crew fish oil and crude and fish meal, fish meals then sold into pet food and and ar quaffed markets. The fish oil is a crude boil, and then that comes to a refiner and the refiner will then take that crew D, Oil that has all the Padha and all the fat content, and they will take that through a number of different purification steps. Generally they’ll. We do this and and many other manufacturers do this. You know you you remove any gums or or contaminant environmental contaminant that are present in e the fish oil. There may be some heavy metals that are removed during this process as well, and then the fish oil, if it’s designed to go straight into human consumption, is generally then just deodorized. So then it goes. It goes through a distillation process where the fish, flavors, Alta, hides and key tones are removed through high vacuum distillation process that he heat the oil up under pressure. Remove it and then you have what is called like a conlie oil or a natural oil or natural triglas right or something if instead you’re going to to go to a concentrate. He would then take that oil and perform a chemical reaction where you’re going to convert the oil into its slasher form. So the OL comes as a triglas ride. so it’s three fatty acids on the glycero backbone and you want to break that up. So you break it up either end of fatty assets, individual fatty acids, but almost all official companies that the concentration at this point make a make, what they call an ethel aster, which is an an eth and all and a and the fatty acid molecule joined together. That then allows the fish oil to be concentrated through distillation, chromatography and freeze concentration and a lot of other normal industrial chemical processes, and so a lot of natural products like soybean oils and different pharmaceuticals are all manufactured in kind of similar types of ways, and so, once that Ethel Lester is then concentrated up into a desired panda ratio and purity level, then it would be stabilized with an antiochene generally. Those are a vitamin natural vitamin E, also called it Tacape, it’s blended in and then packaged into drums or tinging. Whatever final package that the product sold into those products then are sent to an encapsulation plant where they’ll be put in between two pieces of gelatine and kind of those two pieces of gelatine are are welded together almost under heat and the oil is injected in between in between the pieces of gelatine and those joe caps then contain the oil they’re dried to a certain humidity level, putting a bottle sealed and, and then they hit off to to wherever the retail location is sometimes the official oil is then put into a bottle. If it’s a liquid fish oil, it will be just bottled just like salad dressing or something like that, and so that’s really kind of a long explanation Greg. But that’s it is a very complex supply chain. You know it always amazes me that you can go into a store like Walmart or Casco or whole food, and you can buy this amazing nutrient for twenty dollars or thirty dollars on the shelf, and you know the just hundreds of millions of dollars of assets that stand behind that product getting to you at a very reasonable price on the shelf. It’s it’s actually pretty amazing how it all happens when you, when you get to see how this sausage is made. It is pretty amazing to hear you break that down for a stand. So you’ve talked about fish oil, but there are other sources of PA and DHA or make a three available. Where else can we find epan DH opin dicha are really synthesized in you know single cell organisms in Alga and plainton that floats in the ocean and so small creatures, like Copa, pods and and other small crustaceans. They eat that algae or eat the plankton and and then they’re, eaten and turned by Crow and and those crill or and other shrimps are in other. You phases is really the technical term they’re eaten by fish, and you know so it’s part of the food chain, so fish are kind of like these collectors that go around the ocean and they just eat everything they can and they happen to eat a whole bunch of things that have epha and a lot of other great nutrients. And that’s why seafood is is such a great, a great thing, but there’s really not I mean the the forms of epands. The sources of PD mean all goes right back to to an ALGA source, an ALICA source, because that’s that’s really where the panda are artily synthesized in nature, like what you hear so far make sure you never miss a show by clicking the subscribe. But now this podcast is made possible by listeners like you. Thank you for your support. Now, back to the show Dan, you opened up to fish being collectors of EPA and Dha I’d love for you to elaborate on that, and maybe you can explain a little bit about the food chain as well. So it goes all the way back to the single cell organism, algy that express boil in their gens and they tend to express a certain amount of PA and DHA. So those algae are eaten by Crill. You phases or shrimps, they’re, eaten by COPEPOD and small crustaceans, and those crustaceans and shrimps and cris are then eaten by fish. So as as you go up the food chain, you know and then in the fish are eaten by birds and sea lions and sharks or or whales, or you know just, however, and then finally and then finally you know people because men tends to be at the top of the food chain. So you know we can trace the pin, the Dha all the way back down to those little planton or algy growing in the ocean, and you think about the the surface of the earth is covered by you know: Seventy five percent water and the plainton that grow all over the ocean in the water. I think it’s more than it’s more than like all the trees on earth. In terms of like it’s plant matter, it’s a huge. I mean it’s just really boggles to mind about how much algy there is out there in the ocean, and it doesn’t really seem like there’s that much because hey it’s the ocean, you know there’s a lot of water, but there’s a huge amount of plant life. That’s floating in the ocean, then, as you know, industrial fisheries have been a hot topic in the news. Lately would love to get your take on the concern surrounding sustainable fishing and overfishing. Yeah! That’s a great question gray. You know Tester’s been some sensational documentaries that have been put out about fishing and and how harmful it is. And it’s it’s true that that over fishing is a problem globally and and that that many fisheries, most notably, I think the codfishery off the George’s Bank you know had had his huge crash in t e t s, and you know it’s important to remember that. You know before N S N t s this idea of sustainable fishing. Just wasn’t really a thing. I mean people. People thought that the fish in the ocean were an unlimited resource. You know, I think, that’s you can always think of the the same that you know well, there’s always more fish in the sea. Well, there’s there’s not, and so in the S and s and S, and even even through to today a lot of marine scientists looked at setting a fishing quotas and governments put in place like especially the US government. I think an European governments led the way in terms of saying, like Hay in this fishery, we’re going to study it, we’re going to learn about it, we’re going to learn about the breeding patterns, the the eating patterns and we’re going to only allow a certain amount of fish to be caught out of this fishery because we don’t want it to collapse. We want it to be fished in a healthy manner that can be sustained for for generations, because it’s a natural resource, just like you know clear, cut logging used to be a thing, and now there’s targeted logging, where it’s like. Well, we’re going to cut these trees were going to harvest these trees. Fishing is much the same way. It’s a it’s a public resource, it’s a public asset of each country and their territorial waters, and so each country that has a fishing culture and an efficient industry. They want to do whatever they can to protect that resource for future generations. So I’m not going to say that there’s nothing bad about industrial fishing, but I would say, on the whole most of the g twenty countries do a very good job of managing their fisheries. They have government observers they monitor by catch the non target species that are caught along with fish and kill just point out that you know the fish oil that we use comes from Alaska polic and it has, you know less than a one percent by catch. So ninety nine percent of the fish that are caught are the target species and that’s not because the fishermen are really good is because the fish school very tightly and the way in which they’re caught they can exclude other species like salmon or cod, and you know, there’s been a lot of areas in the oceans that are closed to fishing because of maybe the sea bird or s lion habitant. You know this. This idea that fishing’s bad, I think, is just really not looking at the whole picture of all the work. That’s done at an environmental level at a governmental level and by the fishermen themselves to be responsible to not catch too much to save some for next season to do what they can to protect the environment. It’s really some of the best people who are focused on on the ecology and and the believers of the sustainable of the fishery are the fishermen themselves, because you know sustain ability is not just about the catch or how the fish are caught. It’s also about the lifestyle. There’s a certain sustainable y to having a fishing culture. Some countries like Iceland or Norway having a fishing culture, is just incredibly important to them and to their future as a country, and so they all take it very seriously and do what they can to manage the fishery and the resource responsibly. Well, thank you for broaching that topic and I, like your statement. Sustainable, is not just about the catch. It’s also about the lifestyle Dan we’ve run out of time today, but I want to thank you so much for being with this and allowing us to take a deep dive into a Makatee sure any time Gregg happy to do so, and I also want to think our listeners today and listeners as always be healthy, be well and fight the good fight. This has been the science and the story behind Omega Three. Thanks to our sponsor wily companies, you can find them and more information about our show at Wiley, Cocom, F, podcast. If you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcast thanks for listening and we’ll catch you next time any statements on this podcast or the opinion of the scientific guests and or author, and have not yet been evaluated by the F Da, the information we may provide to you as design for educational purposes, only as not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any health issues or conditions without consulting a health care. Professional, if you are experiencing a health is you are conditioning. We suggest you consult with your health care, professional