2015 Supply Innovation: Alkemist Labs
Bringing Transparency to All Areas of Natural Products Industry Testing
As a pioneer in natural products testing, Alkemist Labs helps companies achieve and maintain quality products and cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) compliance. Alkemist Labs, an industry recognized leader established in 1997, is a contract testing laboratory that renders comprehensive analytical testing solutions to its clients in the food and beverage, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries to meet their product safety, transportation and quality guidelines. Testing natural products is all the company does, and it does it extraordinarily well.
The company’s mission to bring transparency to all areas of natural products industry testing, includes education tools designed to demystify testing and help companies obtain accurate results to support regulatory compliance and illustrate their quality commitment to consumers.
Alkemist Labs specializes in routine QC/Compendial testing, method development and validation/verification services and dedicated research services. Alkemist Labs offers high throughput HPTLC analysis for botanical ingredient identity testing of whole herbs and plant extracts with a standard 5-business day turn-around time. In combination with HPLC, microscopy and the company’s on-site berbarium, Alkemist offers the most reliable technical support and the highest quality services. Specific services include:
Identify: botanical microscopy, HPTLC/MS and HPLC fingerprinting; composite reference botanicals (CRBs)
Analyze: HPLC, GC, UV-Vis, UPLC/MS & wet chemistry
Verify: The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) requires brands to be able to prove their label claims using scientifically valid methods. Alkemist Labs offers custom verification and validation services for their clients’ unique finished products and their ingredients.
New Technology: Launching in early 2016, Alkemist Labs will offer next-generation DNA sequencing services, a powerful tool available for speciation in plant-based products. Because this technology has often been misapplied and standard methods are not yet developed, Alkemist Labs will be using this platform alongside more established and accepted testing methods in order to accelerate understanding of this technology and help make it one of the useful testing tools for dietary supplements and ingredients.
Phytochemical Reference Standards
Alkemist Labs reference material offerings include phytochemical reference standards manufactured by Extrasynthese, Lyon, France and Botanical Reference Materials developed by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP). Reference Standards are used in the measurement of content or for the presence of the many phytochemicals contained in natural products, which have direct impact on the ability to assess safety, quality and potency of both raw materials and finished products.
Herbal products contain many phytochemicals that are responsible for their activities. It is of tremendous importance to be able to accurately measure the presence and/or content of these substances in herbal products in order to assess safety, quality and potency. Currently a concern in the industry is assessing the herbal products supply chain “traceability” and to detect adulteration. To address these concerns, analytical methods have been developed using phytochemical standards to assist in the quality process.
Phytochemical standards are pure substances existing in and mostly derived from plants for which chemical structure has been determined and for which purity has been accurately measured. They can be made by extraction and/or chemical synthesis. As they can be complex and fragile materials, their production needs advanced skills in extraction, organic chemistry and purification techniques, the main set of purification techniques being “preparative chromatography.”
Alkemist Labs holds memberships and is active in multiple trade associations and industry groups: ABC (American Botanical Council), AHPA (American Herbal Products Association), CRN (Council of Responsible Nutrition), NPA (Natural Products Association) and the UNPA (United Natural Products Alliance).