Carbon-14 Analysis Enhances Quality Control for Natural Products

Products that are 100% sourced from nature (“natural products”) are often more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. As a result, some companies may be inclined to mislabel artificial alternatives that are usually petroleum-derived​ ​as natural products. Through carbon-14 analysis, manufacturers and raw material suppliers, distributors, consumers and regulatory bodies can:

  • Validate natural source claims
  • Identify adulterated or fraudulent “natural” flavor and fragrance products
  • Obtain data vital during R&D phase of product development

Examples of products the lab accepts for Carbon-14 analysis include cosmetics, curcumin, essential oils, flavors, and food & dietary supplements.

Carbon-14 Analysis Complements Other Tests

There are several test methods that quality control and quality assurance departments use to detect adulteration. However, only carbon-14 analysis can identify if there are petrochemical-derived synthetic adulterants in a product claiming to be 100% naturally sourced.

Natural Products Authenticity Testing Methods

Products that are 100% biobased are 100% sourced from plants, animals or microbiological materials. Carbon-14 analysis measures the exact percentage of carbon in a material that comes from biomass.

Beta Analytic currently reports results for natural products source testing according to international standards ASTM D6866 and ISO 16620-2, both of which are based on carbon-14 analysis.

Beta Analytic Garlic Oil Case Study Result

Beta Analytic Peppermint Oil Case Study Results

Further Reading:

Identifying Fraudulent Natural Products: A Perspective on the Application of Carbon-14 Analysis – Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’s Advances in Bioflavor Research special issue
Authentication of Peppermint Oil – Perfumer & Flavorist
Curcumin and Adulteration in the Natural Products Industry – Nutraceuticals Now
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Pioneers in biobased carbon testing

The lab was one of the key developers of the first standard to determine the biobased content of products using the radiocarbon method (ASTM D6866) and has been technical adviser to all major biobased standardization initiatives worldwide including ISO 16620-2.

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Beta Analytic is a natural-level radiocarbon lab and does not accept pharmaceutical samples containing tracer levels of Carbon-14 to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.

Is your Product Natural? Prove it!

For reliable, accurate and fast natural product source testing, always choose Beta Analytic.
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