Innovation Revolution Of Plant Active Components
- Feb 16, 2018 -

7 weeks of 2018


In the dietary supplement industry, many times innovation is not only for new products on the shelf, for example, in the past few years, the industry has paid more attention to the source of the ingredients and the production process of the product. Moreover, the innovation goal of the dietary supplement industry is no longer the impact of one or two hot new products on the new subdivision market, but to promote the traceability and transparency of the whole supply chain. In recent years, they have become the highlight of industry innovation. There are also individual brands who have come up with a compelling view of how they apply these concepts in their supply chain.

1. supply chain innovation of plant components

The industry's efforts include the supply chain verification process developed by the AHPA. In addition, University of Guelph in Ontario province is also trying to establish a set of best practices and references on the use of DNA technology in plant identification. The Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program combined with a consortium is developing a mechanism to ensure that unqualified or adulterated plant ingredients are not sold to other customers after being rejected by customers.

AHPA project development director Jane Wilson revealed that a few years ago, the association found itself in a special position, when the plant dietary supplement industry was under investigation by the New York Minister of justice Eric Schneiderman. This storm has caused many retailers to take a lot of blame, but they also undertake the task of reactivating the industry. GNC is an important part of this, because the DNA test allegedly showed that there was little or only a small amount of plant active ingredients in the plant supplement of GNC.

In the initial survey, many people thought that the DNA testing process itself was in doubt, and the Eric Schneiderman office did not announce the specific process. But the incident, though traumatized by the industry, has brought a positive effect, the so-called "sense of shame," which has made the plant supplement brand aware of the potential risks in the product supply chain and rekindled their passion.

Finally, GNC and Schneiderman reached a quick agreement, including plant GMP documents for quickly establishing their partners. This document was largely derived from the early work of AHPA, when it worked out a good practice guide for the Good Agricultural Collection practices guidance, which was released a few years ago. AHPA finally agreed to GNC's revision and management of GMP plan.

Wilson revealed that GACP documents have been some years old, and the benefits of combining GACP/GMP files are helping the industry to understand some of the intersecting points between the needs and regulations of these industries.

It is understood that, in addition to helping suppliers to comply with what GNC is in demand (including appropriate DNA testing), the document will also help them explore the new world in the FSMA (food safety Modernization Act). This document will help them connect these points, including some easy-to-use forms, allowing enterprises to judge their compliance situation by themselves.

2. DNA project

Steven Newmaster, a professor of the Department of integrated biology at the University of Guelph, has led a multifaceted project to establish the best practice for DNA testing in the dietary supplement industry. It is reported that the project includes three aspects: establishing a reference DNA sample library, studying DNA information in plant extracts, and developing and validating a handheld device that can speed up DNA identification in the supply chain.

Newmaster revealed that a considerable number of industry leaders have joined the research alliance, which is setting up a DNA database from specimens of raw material producers to verify these samples and sequences. According to one of the sponsors of the project, the researchers obtained direct scientific research materials from their farms.

One of the most exciting and influential aspects of this work is handheld devices, which will greatly accelerate the use of technology in this field. The most important of these is that in the data box of the machine, there are available references to compare the DNA information in a large number of foreign raw materials (the process is also simplified).

Every species tested on the machine will have a tool to purchase. The research team is working with USP to validate each suite. Their plan is to provide 20 sets of tools for the most common species in the second quarter of this year. It is understood that about 70 species of the industry account for about 70% of the merchandise trade, and the ultimate goal of Newmaster is to provide toolkit for all these species. In addition, there are at least 200 species of plant dietary supplements, and the DNA testing of these species will still need access to external laboratories.

3. unqualified raw material SOP

The third innovation is the standard operating procedure (SOP) for unqualified raw materials, which is a combination of the United States plant Commission (ABC), the United States Pharmacopoeia and the joint project of the National Center for natural products research of University of Mississippi.

Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC, says the goal of the project is to work hard to raise the line of the industry, making it clear that unqualified or adulterated materials will no longer be tolerated.

So far, this has been one of the secrets of the industry, and the unqualified raw materials have never really disappeared, but are turned down after being rejected until someone is willing to accept it.

Blumenthal stresses that this is not a safety issue - there is no evidence that these substandard materials can cause health risks. But they do represent fraud, because diluted or adulterated materials do not.

February 16, 2018