Quality control: Industry sets self-regulating standards to safeguard NMN quality in China

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

The China health foods industry has set self-regulating standards to safeguard the quality of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) products. ©Getty Images
The China health foods industry has set self-regulating standards to safeguard the quality of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) products. ©Getty Images

Related tags: NMN, self regulation, quality

A group of companies making nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and industry big names such as hyaluronic acid specialist Bloomage Biotechnology have published a set of technical standards to safeguard the quality of NMN products sold in China.

Known as ‘Product requirements and test methods for β-nicotinamide mononucleotide’​, this is a set of self-regulating standards set by the industry following a year of deliberation.

It has been officially implemented on August 12 and is non-legally binding since it is neither drafted nor enforced by the government.

Currently, there is no national standards (known as Guobiao/ GB standards) regulating NMN products in China. 

This development is a potential step forward in establishing a set of GB standards or new food raw material regulations for NMN, Cathy Yu, senior food regulatory consultant and general manager of the food business division at consultancy firm CIRS told NutraIngredients-Asia.

NMN supplements have garnered massive attention in China about two years ago​, mostly because it was marketed as a ‘longevity’ product.  

“NMN supplements are popular on various e-commerce channels but the problem is that the standards and quality of the products have varied greatly from companies to companies, which is why the industry stakeholders have come together to establish a set of self-regulating standards,” ​Yu said.

While there is no third-party to enforce the standards, she said that companies, both local and overseas alike, could show proof of their adherence to the standards through lab test certifications which could be used to market the product as one that follows this particular standard.

The requirements

According to the standards, NMN should come in the form of white powder with a purity level of at least 99.5 per cent and above.

Aside from the sensory requirements, the standards also covered specifications on NMN’s physical and chemical specifications, contaminants and microorganisms limits.

Stakeholders involved

It is not only the NMN specialists that were involved in the drafting process. Some notable firms involved include Bloomage Biotech – famous for its hyaluronic acid ingredient and health foods business – and DHA supplement specialist Neuro Health Science.

A total of 25 representatives from 18 companies took part in the drafting of the standards.

Representatives from the NMN industry include Bontac Bioengineering (Shenzhen) and Suzhou Leadsynbio Technology, while China Food and Drug Corporation Quality and Safety Promotion Association was also involved.

In the past two years, major brands which have marketed NMN supplements in China include GNC​, Doctor’s Best​, while BYHEALTH has compared the levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) – the precursor of NMN – in men and women,​ as well as how low NAD+ levels was found to be associated with anaemia in women.

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