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Élan M. Sudberg, CEO, Alkemist Labs

Élan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Labs Élan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Labs

Alkemist Labs
12661 Hoover St.
Garden Grove, CA 92841
Phone: (714) 754-4372

Non-GMO Project

Alkemist Labs is an ISO 17025 accredited contract testing laboratory specializing in plant authentication, botanical ingredient identification, quantitative analytical services and contaminant screening for the Food & Beverage, Nutraceutical and Cosmeceutical industries. Located in a state-of-the-art facility in Garden Grove, CA, Alkemist Labs offers clients a wide range of specialty research services to evaluate the identity, purity and quality of botanical raw materials, dietary ingredients, and finished products. DEA registered 1, 2, 3n, and 4 for more than 20 years, Alkemist is also approved to be on California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) list for hemp testing. Alkemist Labs also produces a complete line of Composite Reference Botanicals (CRBs), critical tools for botanical identity verification. Since it was founded in 1997, Alkemist Labs has become the ideal “Partner for Quality” to companies interested in producing high quality natural products requiring independent, third-party analysis, Stability/Shelf-life studies, Certification of Analysis (C of A) and cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) compliance.

Élan M. Sudberg, CEO of Alkemist Labs, holds a degree in chemistry from California State University Long Beach, and has authored numerous articles on phytochemistry and analytical techniques for the natural products and nutraceutical industry. He is on the executive committee of the AHPA (American Herbal Products Association) board, on the AHPA Education and Research on Botanicals Foundation board, was founding chair of the Cannabis Committee, and chairs the recently inaugurated Psychedelic Plants & Fungi Committee.

NIE: In 2022, Alkemist Labs celebrated its 25th anniversary. What are some of the company’s achievements since its creation?

Sudberg: My father Sid Sudberg and I founded the lab in 1997, which I consider our first achievement. A few years later, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia shut down Australia’s dietary supplement industry, requiring that all dietary supplements in the country be tested for label claims to reopen. Because we had established a reputation for accurate botanical identity testing, suddenly we went from 35 samples a week to 400 samples requiring testing immediately, so surviving that was an achievement.

We achieved our first ISO accreditation in 2015, which is a third party verifying our expertise.

In 2018, we moved from a space in Costa Mesa that we had more than outgrown to a beautiful, much larger space in Garden Grove to accommodate our growth and enhance the working environment for our incredible staff.

Just this year we have had two large achievements. After decades as the undisputed top botanical testing lab for identity and potency, we added contaminant testing to our suite of services. And after seven years of encouraging industry members to share their test results as a demonstration of quality, we made it easier by launching the Next Generation Transparency and Alkemist Assured programs, with an impressive roster of companies having signed up already.

NIE: Please explain the Alkemist Assured Transparency Programs.

Sudberg: I’m really happy about this program. For seven years I’ve been encouraging industry members to share their test results, which I believe is a strong marketing tool. To make that easier for companies to do, we created a two-tiered program for both ingredient suppliers and finished product companies.

Next Generation Transparency (NGT): We designed consumer-friendly NGT Certificate of Analysis for companies to make available on their websites. These must be refreshed with more current test results at least every six months. These simplified C of As are supplied in addition to the more technical versions Alkemist’s testing clients receive, but are easier for people without scientific training to understand. Each company in the program will be listed on the Alkemist website as a Next Generation Transparency partner, linked to their website.

Brands wishing to further demonstrate their quality commitment and assurance may also apply for the use of the Alkemist Assured seal on product marketing materials, website, sales materials, etc. In addition to the requirements for the level one NGT program, level two requires that participant companies utilize Alkemist identity, potency and contaminant testing services for raw material and blended ingredient quality. A minimum one-year commitment is required for each product in the program to be permitted to use the Alkemist Assured seal.

NIE: You recently received an NBJ Award and in 2021, Alkemist Labs was honored with two TINYawards. What do accolades like these mean for the company?

Sudberg: We’ve received a lot of awards, but several stand out: AHPA honored Sid and me with an Herbal Hero award in 2013.

We won our first NBJ award for small business growth in 2008, and this year NBJ is honoring me for Efforts on Behalf of the Industry.

And last year we received two TINYawards from TINYpulse, which measures employee job happiness. Since company culture is high on my list of priorities, that was very satisfying.

The industry awards are meaningful because they show we are successfully contributing to the betterment of the industry. The TINYawards show that we are doing a good job making sure our company culture is nurturing and supportive, so our excellent staff will stay committed to the company.