Quality Assurance: Testing

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

After harvesting, all raw materials are shipped to the Nature’s Sunshine Products manufacturing facility, where they are subjected to a series of in-depth quality control tests to ensure purity and potency. Every incoming raw material is thoroughly tested before it is cleared for use in each of Synergy’s V3 System products. 

A total of 247 tests are conducted along the various stages of manufacturing.

Once we have a finished product, it must also pass through 15 different tests before receiving a final stamp of approval. Following is a sample of some of the tests raw materials must pass before being included in a batch of any of the V3 System products. It is important to note that V3 System products and their raw materials must pass every test—any negative test results will cause the raw material or finished product to be rejected.

Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy uses an infrared scan to validate the authenticity and purity of the raw material being tested. Each raw material has a unique frequency at which it absorbs infrared light; charting the frequency through an “absorption spectrum” allows us to compare it to the standard set in the formulation process.

Thin Layer Chromatography

The Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) test allows us to “fingerprint” the herb sample and compare it to a library of known standards. With this test, we are able to identify the raw material and verify that all key components are present.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography 

Extremely sensitive computerized instrumentation allows us to analyze the ingredients of ProArgi-9+, Mistify and PhytoLife. This instrument uses advanced analytical techniques to separate, identify, and quantify individual components. Each of these finished products is tested to ensure that all label claims are met.

Ash Testing

Samples of raw materials are burned at 700 degrees Celsius for one hour. Any ash that remains after the burn is made up of mineral content, which is weighed and analyzed. Each herb has characteristic mineral content and corresponding typical ash content. If we find an ash content that is significantly higher than the typical ash content, we suspect the presence of dirt or some other foreign material. This can be due to harvesters insufficiently cleaning dirt from the plants before shipping them to us. A failed ash test will result in rejection of the raw material.

Gamma Counter

Some raw materials come from parts of the world that may be contaminated with radiation. This test will show if the materials are contaminated and will help keep all Synergy products free from radiation.

Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)

The ICP has a flame that burns at 8,727 degrees Celsius. A sample of raw material or finished product is dissolved in acid and then sprayed into the middle of the flame. Different elements will glow with their own unique colors. A highly sensitive spectrophotometer measures the brightness of each mineral in the flame and tells us how much of each mineral is present in the sample down to parts per billion. If there are any unwanted elements in the raw material, the shipment is rejected. This test also screens for unwanted elements such as arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. When each of the V3 products are finished, they are tested here to ensure their mineral content meets label claims.

Synergy WorldWide

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.