Nutraceutical moved into its new, state-of-the-art laboratory in the summer 2014. Setting the bar for the highest quality standards in the industry has always been the hallmark of Nutraceutical¹s philosophy and practice. Stringent testing protocols inspire confidence in our customers as they make product decisions they can depend on.
When it comes to product testing, the Nutraceutical team is rigorous—from the moment the raw materials come through our warehouse receiving doors, to final product testing for certain contaminants, such as gluten. We know how important testing is to the QUALITY of our finished goods. Our in-house laboratories screen over a thousand samples each week using numerous testing methods (including USP) and protocols.
Let’s take a quick virtual tour of the testing methods we use, as our ingredients make their way through our manufacturing and laboratory facilities to their final journey into bottling, packaging and shipping and finally, into your hands.
As soon as any raw materials are delivered to our facility, they are quarantined. Why? Because we don’t want to use anything until it has undergone a battery of tests to ensure its identity according to its accompanying documentation.
Raw material containers are then taken into a “clean room” and samples are taken using sterile tools to prevent any cross-contamination. They are bagged and tagged and issued a lot number, which will carry the samples all the way through the manufacturing process to the final finished product.
Initial Sensory Testing
An initial organoleptic (sensory) testing is done while the material is in receiving. Does it look, feel, smell, and taste right? If not, why not? This is especially important with herbs, which can vary widely in color from batch to batch. Perhaps the material was harvested at a different time of the year, or the growing conditions changed. Was it extracted in a different way? The answers must be satisfactory or the material is rejected outright.
Physical Characteristics Testing
Then, each sample is tested for moisture content, particle size and density to ensure that it is within standard limits, as these characteristics will impact how much we can put in a capsule or tablet and how well it will blend with other ingredients.
Samples are then sent to our microbial laboratory and others are sent to our main laboratory at a university to test its identity, potency and purity.
Our microbial laboratory screens samples for a variety of microorganisms. Specific tests include total plate count, pathogens and yeast/mold.
Identity and Potency
In our main laboratory, samples are tested for identity to make sure the sample corresponds to its documentation from the supplier. For our Guaranteed Potency extracts, we test the sample for specific phytonutrients and amounts using several high-end detectors employing improved analytical specificity and sensitivity. With chemicals (such as vitamins or specialty substances) we test to ensure they meet our stringent specifications.
Herbs are tested for pesticides and herbicides based on researched screening methodologies. Minerals and herbs are also screened for heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and mercury by specialized ICP-MS (Inductively-Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer) to ensure our product labeling complies with California’s Prop 65. Many of our products are screened for the presence of gluten using enzyme-linked immunosobant assay (ELISA) techniques.
Since 2007, we have been screening for the possible irradiation of most incoming herbs so they meet EU and UK standards. We do not accept irradiated herbs for any of our brands.
Only then are the raw materials released from quarantine and distributed for manufacturing among our 60-plus brands. HOWEVER, our testing doesn’t end there!
Disintegration and Dissolution Testing
Our tablets, capsules and softgels are tested to ensure appropriate disintegration takes place in accordance with USP and in-house standards. They are then agitated in an appropriate media and must dissolve within a specified time.
Product are placed under accelerated conditions using a temperature/humidity environmental chamber or entered into a real-time stability program. Most of the products within the Nutraceutical Family of Brands™ are shelf-stable for one to three and half years. We stamp a lot number and a use-by date on each label so you can be assured a fresh product when purchased.
And finally, to ensure that all of our products meet label claims and that our labels reflect the latest FDA regulations, we pass them through our Research and Development team and our legal department to verify that any cautionary or warning statements comply with the recommendations stated in the second edition of the Botanical Safety Handbook.
Nutraceutical has long believed that the quality of its brands depends on its stringent procedures, standards and processes documented and verified by its Quality Control staff. The trust and loyalty that our customers have expressed for our products over the years is what drives us to continuously improve our testing methods and ensure THE HIGHEST QUALITY in each and every product we produce.