Clean Products Require Strict Quality Control
Recent estimates show that 32 million Americans have food allergies, and many more have sensitivities to a wide variety of chemicals and foods. As a result, more Americans are looking for “clean” dietary supplements that do not contain unnecessary ingredients.
Manufacturing clean, hypoallergenic nutritional supplements requires very strict quality control throughout the entire manufacturing process. Here’s what to look for:
·High quality manufacturing facility. Facilities are registered with the FDA and may be inspected at any time. They are expected to meet or exceed established current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).
·Independent, third party approval and monitoring. For example, NSF is an independent organization that audits manufacturing facilities to ensure they follow cGMPs. This helps ensure each product has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity listed on the label.
·Comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs) for every manufacturing phase. This should also include procedures put in place for testing all raw materials and storage to prevent ingredient cross-contamination, as well as quality control checks during all phases of manufacturing.
·Few excipients. Most supplement capsules and tablets require some excipients be added to allow the ingredients to mix properly (carriers), flow through the capsule machine (flow agents) or hold together (binders). There are many reasons these other ingredients need to be added. But high-quality manufacturers avoid or minimize use of excipients and use hypoallergenic ingredients like rice flour, amino acid powder (leucine) or cellulose when excipients are required.
·Comprehensive label information. If a product contains none of the eight major allergens identified by the FDA, no allergen statement is required on the label, and one can assume it contains no milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish or shellfish. However, it is helpful and reassuring to the consumer, especially those sensitive to corn, gluten and other allergens not covered by federal labeling requirements, to see a statement identifying other things that are not in the product that consumers have concerns about. Many high quality manufacturers now provide these statements on many of their products.
“The willingness on the part of the manufacturers to utilize the best methods in order to address areas of ambiguity and challenges regarding quality is a hallmark of those suppliers with a commitment to quality manufacturing,” wrote Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, in the Natural Medicine Journal. “Thankfully, these suppliers exist aplenty, and practitioners’ expectations for this level of quality products will reinforce their commitment to quality.”
Emerson Ecologics makes it easy for you to know at a glance, what manufacturers you can trust to provide high quality products. The Emerson Quality Program (EQP®) is unique in our industry. Brands and products with a silver or gold EQP® seal, meet all the criteria previously outlined. Many of our EQP® partners finished products are allergen-free, and state that on the label.
Like you, we take our quality commitment to our customers very seriously, and our EQP process allows us to feel confident that we’re offering you the best. It’s a key differentiator for practitioners, and a key reason why patients look to their practitioners for dietary supplement advice.
Akabas SR, Vannice G, Atwater JB, et al. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016;116(9):1370-1379.
Alschuler L. Natural Medicine Journal. 2011;3(2).
Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. JAMA Network. 2019;2(1).
NSF. Dietary Supplements GMP Registration. http://www.nsf.org/services/by-industry/nutritional-products/dietary-supplements-gmp-registration