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The scientific effects of QRILL Pet - a functional marine ingredient in pet food

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QRILL Pet has many nutritional and health benefits for pets. Learn more about the scientifically documented effects in the next animation.





Dogs require a complete and nutritious diet to live a long and healthy life. One of these important nutrients are omega-3s.

Several studies have shown that omega-3s and choline have positive effects on vital organs such as the heart, liver, kidney, brain, eyes, joints, muscles, skin and coat. 


What is QRILL Pet?

QRILL Pet is a unique functional marine ingredient made of whole dried Antarctic krill.

Krill are shrimp like crustaceans – and live in large and dense swarms in the pristine ice cold Antarctic waters. 

Krill offer a natural and powerful combination of important nutrients such as:

  • Phospholipid omega-3s, one of the most efficient omega-3 sources with many health benefits for humans and pets.
  • Marine proteins, that offer a complete amino acid profile, providing all the building blocks your dog needs. They are also highly palatable and digestible.
  • Phosphatidylcholine, which is a natural source of the essential nutrient choline. Choline is important for muscle function, memory and liver health.
  • Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune function and protects all body cells from oxidative stress.

Read more about our QRILL Pet product


The experiment: krill meal versus fish oil in diets of 20 Alaskan Huskies

The subjects of the study were 20 Norway-bred, high-performance Alaskan Huskies, a breed of dog known for its athleticism, and their ability to sustain health and quickly recover after long-distance adventures, such as the world’s longest and toughest dog sled race, Iditarod.

The dogs were randomly divided into two groups; one group received a proprietary krill meal supplement (QRILL Pet, Aker BioMarine) in their diet, while the other group received a fish oil supplement (NorSalmOil). Each diet equated 1.7 grams of daily EPA and DHA intake.

“The objective of the study was to assess the efficacy of dietary inclusion of equal amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in phospholipid from krill meal versus triglyceride structure from fish oil to increase the omega-3 fatty acid profile in red blood cells in dogs. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are recognized for their positive impact on many biochemical and physiological functions, including skin, heart, liver and the immune system,” added Dr. Burri.

How to choose the right marine omega-3 ingredient for pet food


So why choose QRILL Pet over other omega-3 sources? 

One of the unique nutritional advantages of Antarctic krill is that the omega-3s are mainly bound to phospholipids, while the omega-3s in fish oil are mostly delivered in triglyceride form. The phospholipid form is efficiently  taken up by the cells and delivered to where the body needs them the most. Triglyceride omega-3s, on the other hand, are often used by the body as an energy source or are stored as fat.

Therefore a smaller amount is taken up by the cell membranes, where they have the most beneficial effects.

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Are the effects of QRILL Pet scientifically documented? 

The effects of QRILL Pet were investigated in a 5-week study with 32 Alaskan huskies. The dogs were to participate in a dog sled race called Iditarod, a thousand mile extreme endurance race known to be tough on the whole body, for both dogs and humans. A high quality diet is therefore extremely important.

The 32 dogs were separated into two groups – one group with an 8% krill inclusion diet and one control group. The study showed that the group with the QRILL Pet diet had significant higher omega-3 levels, both at the start and end of the race.  The same group also had reduced muscle damage and 55% less inflammation at the end of the challenging race.

In another 6-week comparison study with 20 Alaskan huskies, the omega-3 and choline levels were studied. One of the dog groups received omega-3 inclusion in the form of fish oil and the other in the form of krill meal. The group on the QRILL Pet diet with phospholipid bound omega-3s had a significant increase in their omega-3 levels, and also in choline plasma levels.


A more sustainable & traceable omega-3 source

Krill is also a more sustainable and traceable omega-3 source, as the Antarctic krill fishery is one of the most precautionary and best performing fisheries in the world. The company conducting the fishery, Aker BioMarine was the first krill harvesting company to get MSC certification due to the high standard fishing operations and sustainable practices. Not only is the krill fishery strictly regulated by CCAMLR, it is also the only “A” rated reduction fishery in the world.

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