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NSF International Acquires DNA Testing Laboratory

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NSF International (Ann Arbor, MI) has acquired AuthenTechnologies (Richmond, CA), which provides next-generation DNA-based species identification services that improve the authenticity, safety and quality of natural products, including dietary supplements, foods and other consumer products.

Unlike traditional DNA barcoding, which relies on longer segments of the same DNA region for identification, AuthenTechnologies employs a highly specific and sensitive method capable of identifying almost any species using shorter segments and validated reference materials. This includes the detection of unexpected contaminants, even those that cannot be distinguished morphologically or chemically. AuthenTechnologies’ next-generation DNA sequencing can successfully identify materials consisting of a single species or a mixture of many species, as well as screen for GMOs (genetically modified organisms), allergens, fillers and filth for a range of leading natural and consumer product companies.

There is growing consumer and regulatory concern regarding the authenticity of food, natural product and dietary supplement ingredients and products. Retailers and brand owners that manufacture, source and sell food and dietary ingredients and finished products are required by U.S. federal regulations to validate the authenticity of ingredients and raw materials from suppliers around the world to help protect against safety, adulteration and regulatory risks.     

With this acquisition, NSF International’s dietary supplement and food industry clients now have access to the most advanced DNA testing technology available. Combined with NSF International’s 70 years of auditing, testing and certification expertise, this technology allows for the definitive determination of the authenticity of raw materials, providing retailers and manufacturers the best method for reducing the risk of mislabeling products. This also assures the highest quality and safety for consumers of dietary supplements, botanicals, food, seafood, cosmetics and other natural products. The technology also strengthens NSF’s supply chain food safety, seafood, non-GMO and gluten-free certification programs, and will be a core component of NSF services designed to help companies avoid issues of food adulteration and fraud.

“For more than 70 years, NSF International has helped establish product quality and safety standards for a wide range of industries utilizing the best science and technology available. The superior next-generation DNA test methods currently in use by

AuthenTechnologies will enable NSF International to continue this work, particularly for industries facing new challenges associated with global food and dietary ingredient supply chains,” said Lori Bestervelt, PhD, NSF International executive vice president and chief technology officer. “As the food supply chain becomes more complex and regulations continue to evolve and become more rigorous, this technology is becoming essential to achieving regulatory compliance and brand protection while preventing issues associated with fraud, mislabeling and adulteration.”

“The only way to ensure safe and high quality, compliant products is to know what’s in them.  And the most sensitive, specific and reliable method to identify organisms—from microbes to plant allergens—is using DNA,” added Danica Harbaugh Reynaud, PhD, Co-founder of AuthenTechnologies. “We’ve developed a more highly specific DNA methodology capable of identifying a single organism to a complex blend of unlimited ingredients. Joining NSF International will bring our unmatched capabilities in DNA-based testing to customers in the food, dietary supplement and natural product industries worldwide,”

Going forward as NSF AuthenTechnologies, it will become a center of excellence within NSF International’s global network of ISO/IEC 17025-accredited, state-of-the-art laboratories. It will continue to be led by Reynaud, who joins NSF International as global director of scientific innovation.

For more information, visit www.nsf.org.

 

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