Breaking News on Food, Beverage & Supplement Development - Asia PacificEU edition | US edition

Headlines > Business

Loading...
Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2014

Keeping it clean: 3 botanical chiefs pull adulteration weeds

Post a comment

By Shane Starling+

03-Jun-2014
Last updated the 04-Jun-2014 at 12:09 GMT

Botanical adulteration, like doping in sports, is a problem that can be controlled but never totally resolved, but what is being done about it? Here the world’s biggest botanical players debate their attacks on the problem.

Fact is the economic incentive to falsify product is simply too great for a total clean slate. There will always be rogue players driven by essentially criminal intent. Then there is simply poor quality control at varying points along the supply chain. Question is: How effectively are these problems being addressed?

“Some raw materials are rare or difficult to find and in that case if you have a market demand and a product difficult to find, you may find difficulty to have the right botanical to start with,” said Antoine Bily, global R&D director at Naturex in France.

“So you can have some economic adulteration and also some adulteration due to the fact that some plants that are mixed up at the beginning of the process.”

Testing methods

While the problems are universal, the methods of detecting them differ.

Bily said Naturex possessed a “full set of testing methods” to ensure incoming materials were authentic.

Christian Artaria, marketing director at Indena in Italy, said the European Pharmacopeia methods were important and validated methods and, “should be the methods to be followed.”

Holger Riemensperger, general manager of the Health Business Unit at Swiss-based Frutarom agreed the European Pharmacopeia was key and such methods had played a role in reducing the incidence of adulteration.

“Absolutely. It’s pretty much the same for Frutarom. We have a history coming from pharmaceuticals. We apply generally the pharmacopeia for all our raw materials.”

Artaria said adulteration incidents had decreased due to GMP implementation in the US. “Companies now at least have to do identification tests. So it is getting better.”

Supply chain control

But he said ‘unintentional’ adulteration with the likes of pesticides was maybe the bigger problem.

All agreed working more closely up and down the supply chain with growers and product makers was also important to improve quality.

“When we receive batches, even from our own plantations, we perform microscopic analysis, phytochemical analysis, in some cases even DNA analysis to make sure the species – even though we seeded it, we put it in the ground – is exactly what we wanted to have. So the testing is mandatory in any case.”

Riemensperger, “100% agreed. That is exactly what we do.”

Bily added that, “what is important is to have the appropriate testing. For example, DNA testing may not apply to some specific extract…that’s why you need science and laboratories to have all the background that is required to test botanicals.”

Education

Artaria cited ginseng as an example of a herb in short supply and therefore Indena took the time to inform customers of the situation and to be aware of counterfeit product whose low price alone could act as an adulteration red flag.

Bily and Riemensperger agreed customer education and testing aid were key ways to stamp out adulteration streams.

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Time for a rethink on saturated fat?

Time for a rethink on saturated fat?

If the cover of TIME magazine earlier this month (headline: Eat Butter) is anything...

Sustainable palm oil lobby group needs broader standards

RSPO needs to broaden its principles: Cargill

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has been called on to renew its...

Food firms’ negative effect on the planet to be exposed

Food firms risk exposure over non-sustainable palm oil

Food manufacturers that don’t use purely sustainable palm oil supplies risk being named and...

Mondelēz challenges suppliers’ sustainable palm oil efforts

Mondelēz throws down sustainable palm oil gauntlet

Mondelēz is challenging palm oil suppliers to step up their game so it can...

Keeping it clean: 3 botanical chiefs pull adulteration weeds

Keeping it clean: 3 botanical chiefs pull adulteration weeds

Antoine Bily, Naturex global R&D director

Christian Artaria, Indena marketing director, Holger Riemensperger, Frutarom general manager,...

Global probiotics business is booming, while Europe focuses on blends and 'piggybacking'

Global probiotics business is booming, while Europe focuses on blends and 'piggybacking'

Strong growth in the Americas and Asia is helping the probiotics industry to strong...

Omega-3’s newest big fish reveals sector ambitions

Omega-3’s newest big fish reveals sector ambitions

Daniel H. Rosenbaum

Nutraceuticals general manager, FMC

Gorgeous grub: We need to make insect consumption 'sexy' to consumers

Gorgeous grub: We need to make insect consumption 'sexy' to consumers

Growing interest in the potential for insects as a source of healthy and sustainable...

Nutrition Capital Network takes venture to Vitafoods Geneva

Nutrition Capital Network takes venture to Vitafoods Geneva

Grant Ferrier

Principal, Nutrition Capital Network (NCN)

Innovation success recipe: Respect consumers and draw inspiration from the unknown

Innovation success recipe: Respect consumers and draw inspiration from the unknown

Understanding consumer expectations and respecting these, combined with a boldness to draw inspiration from...

Mooted novel food changes will open exotic fruit doors in EU

Mooted novel food changes will open exotic fruit doors in EU

Dr John Wilkinson

Consultant and EU Novel Foods expert

UHT 'preferred format' to meet Vietnam rural distribution challenges

UHT 'preferred format' to meet Vietnam rural distribution challenges: Tetra Pak

Bert Jan Post

Managing Director , Tetra Pak Vietnam

Lifting one child policy could boost whey protein demand: Volac

Lifting one child policy could boost whey protein demand: Volac

Michael Hiron

Commercial Manager, Lifestyle Nutrition, Volac

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Veteran probiotic researcher professor Gregor Reid is not a happy man. It’s time the...

Unilever: Healthier food choices must be ‘doable’

Unilever: Healthier food choices must be ‘doable’

Hans Zevenbergen

Cross-category nutrition and health director, Unilever

'Long and tortured' Asean harmonisation process making steady progress

'Long and tortured' Asean harmonisation process making steady progress

Dato' Dr Rajen M

Chief executive, Holista Colltech

Probiotics on a charge in Asia, but players must get organised

Probiotics on a charge in Asia, but players must get organised

Russell Ward

Director of research, Giract

Talking tough on Monsanto GM maize cancer study

Talking tough on Monsanto GM maize cancer study

Dr David Tribe

Senior lecturer, University of Melbourne

Key Industry Events