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Economic Adulteration in the Natural Products Industry

In an article published recently in Nutritional Outlook, Beta Analytic’s Marketing Specialist Haley Gershon described the value of Carbon-14 testing in the food and flavors industry as a tool in identifying economic adulteration in natural products.

Adulteration of ingredients in the food and flavor industry is driven by economic factors and is often undetectable. The authentication of natural ingredients using Carbon-14 analysis is an effective and well-established method that can be used by suppliers and manufacturers to authenticate their natural ingredients, support label claims, and promote customer satisfaction.

turmeric, curcumin

Replacing biomass-sourced (biobased) ingredients with synthetic adulterants derived from petrochemical sources is often a cheaper option than using naturally sourced ingredients. These synthetic alternatives are not always detectable. Because Carbon-14 analysis can measure the percentage of naturally sourced versus petrochemical-sourced ingredients present in a product, it is a valuable tool in a company’s quality control procedure.

The biobased content of ingredients is determined using analytical standards ASTM D6866 or ISO 16620-2. An ingredient that is sourced completely from petrochemical inputs will have 0% biobased content. A product wholly sourced from plants will have a biobased percentage of 100%. A product with 50% biobased content has both naturally sourced and fossil-derived ingredients.

Carbon-14 analysis accurately detects the presence of petrochemical-derived inputs in any material but the test does not identify the specific adulterants that were added to the product.

For more information, please read the article “Economic adulteration and the need for carbon-14 testing in the natural products industry” published in Nutritional Outlook on July 1, 2019.

Fast Carbon-14 Analysis

ISO 17025-accredited Beta Analytic provides fast, high-quality carbon-14 analysis for various natural products including flavors, essential oils, supplements, food and beverages, among others. The Miami-based lab’s standard service reports results in 5-7 business days. A faster service is also available.

For inquiries, please contact the lab using this form or call (+1) 305-662-7760.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 and is filed under Renewable Carbon .