Natural Ingredient Testing

Measuring % Biobased Carbon versus % Fossil Carbon in natural ingredients  

A 100% Biobased Carbon result means that the material analyzed is all natural and has no evidence of synthetic adulterants or any petrochemical-derived substances.

Biobased carbon testing is done by Carbon-14 analysis. Products that are 100% biobased are 100% sourced from plants, animals or microbiological materials. Since carbon-14 is only present in living or recently expired material, Carbon-14 testing using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is the most effective method in confirming if there are petrochemical-derived synthetic adulterants in a product claiming to be 100% naturally sourced. 

What does “biobased” mean?

“Biobased” means containing organic carbon of renewable origin like agricultural, plant, animal, fungi, microorganisms, marine, or forestry materials living in a natural environment in equilibrium with the atmosphere, according to the ASTM D6866-22 analytical standard.

Measure the Biobased Content of Natural Ingredients by Carbon-14 Analysis

  • Validate natural source claims
  • Obtain data vital for raw materials quality control
  • Identify adulterated or fraudulent “natural” flavor and fragrance products

Natural-sourced vs Synthetic Origin Reporting Standards

  • ASTM D6866 – Results are reported as a fraction of the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) content of the material
  • ISO 16620-2 – Reports results as a fraction of total organic carbon (TOC) or total carbon (TC)
  • These standards do not distinguish between different natural sources, only whether the material is biomass-derived or petrochemical-sourced or both. Read more on TOC vs TC

Beta Analytic’s Testing Services for Natural Ingredients

  • Standard Service – results are reported in 7 business days or less
  • Priority Service – 4 business days or less

Products regularly accepted by Beta for Carbon-14 analysis include cosmetics, curcumin, essential oils, flavors, and food & dietary supplements.

Ready to submit samples for testing?
Read our guidelines.

For reliable, accurate and fast natural vs synthetic testing, choose Beta Analytic.

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Carbon-14 Analysis vs Other Authenticity Testing Methods
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Turmeric Case Study: Verifying “Natural” Claims by Carbon-14 and HPLC Analyses

Page last updated: January 2024