Paper lays out methods for ensuring quality of botanical supplements marketed for immune health

Paper lays out methods for ensuring quality of botanical supplements marketed for immune health

 The need for more quality control information in this sector is great,  as hordes of new immune health products flooded the market during the pandemic, some of which were of substandard quality.  Those products were also in some cases brought forward by individuals new to the industry, who might be suspected of having an insufficient grounding in quality control procedures.

The new paper was published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition​.  It was the work of a group of experts from Eurofins and the Council for Responsible Nutrition as well universities and medical schools in Virginia, Wisconsin, Taiwan and Russia.

Titled Label compliance for ingredient verification: regulations, approaches, and trends for testing botanical products marketed for “immune health” in the United States,​ the review begins with an overview of the regulation of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients in the US.  This includes a discussion of the requirement that the analytical testing of such ingredients must be fit for purpose and that companies must have scientifically valid reasons for their testing approaches.

Exactly how that testing is done is left to the individual ingredient suppliers and finished goods manufacturers.  Specifying which tests should be done and how while also keeping up with new methods development would be unfeasible in a regulation that must cover thousands of potential ingredients.

Focus on three top selling categories

The paper then lays out something between a primer and a detailed handbook for testing approaches for three top selling categories of ingredients.  Elderberry and mushroom ingredients saw big sales spikes during the pandemic, and turmeric ingredients have occupied a top rung in the sales listings for years.

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