Story of LYSI

It all started in 1936 with the demand for Icelandic cod liver oil as natural source of vitamin A and D. Two ambitious brothers, Tryggvi and Thordur Olafsson, started sourcing and processing cod livers in Reykjavik.

Together they founded LYSI on January 10th 1938.

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With the increased awareness of the health benefits of cod liver oil and its vitamins, the demand continued to grow. LYSI soon became the largest producer and exporter of cod liver oil in Iceland – a title the company still holds to this day.



Up to this period, LYSI only exported products in bulk, then around 1955 the company started producing winterised medicinal cod liver oil in consumer packaging. Ever since, consumer products have played an important role for LYSI with the domestic market as a benchmark.

A laboratory was established and regular research into cod liver oil commenced.


Scientists concluded that consumption of fish lipids reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This had a huge impact on consumers and the popularity of cod liver oil grew once more. LYSI increased the emphasis on research and development, making LYSI one of the leading experts in the field of omega-3.

In 1992 LYSI became the first ISO certified company in Iceland.


A new era in LYSI’s history

Katrin Petursdottir, the granddaughter of LYSI’s founder T. Olafsson, became the owner with the successful merger of LYSI and the fish drying plant in Thorlakshofn. This was the beginning of a new era in LYSI’s history, where sales rapidly expanded, and research and product development became stronger than ever.


In 2005 LYSI inaugurated a new processing plant in Reykjavik, uniquely equipped and utilising state-of-the-art technology at all stages of processing. The new processing plant facilitated LYSI’s pharmaceutical GMP certification that followed in 2007.

The company's sales and marketing efforts received recognition in 2007 when LYSI won the President of Iceland's Export Achievement Award, and new technology was brought in, which expanded LYSI’s product portfolio in 2008 with the production of fish oil concentrates.


In 2012 LYSI completed a plant expansion, doubling the capacity to 13,000 tons. With even better quality and processes LYSI has offered fish oil products qualifying as API's (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) since 2014.

LYSI acquired the cod liver canning factory Akraborg in 2015 and a brand-new fish drying factory was opened in 2019 utilising natural hot water for energy. Later, in 2022 raw material supplier Ice Fish was welcomed to the LYSI family.


Today LYSI is known all over the world for its expertise on fish oils, high quality products and outstanding services, skills which have been accumulated for over 85 years.