Bloomingdale, IL—A new screening test developed by scientists at NOW Foods, based here, can determine whether raw materials have been tampered with. 

The analytical technique screens dietary supplements ingredients with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and attenuated total reflectance (ATR) sampling. The latter method is fast, with the ability to run a sample in less than 10 minutes with 30 seconds of milling preparation. Nonetheless, scientists call the method “robust” in its ability to screen samples for numerous potential adulterants.

The technique will be described in a forthcoming issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Vibrational Spectroscopy. NOW Foods has shared the technique with various groups including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Natural Products Association, the American Herbal Products Association and more.

“We hope our industry will consider using the simple approach to test for adulteration in their ingredients,” stated Michael Lelah, technical director for NOW Foods. “NOW Foods has been using this tool for over a year to inspect sports supplement ingredients. It has [e]nsured that no adulterated products reached the marketplace.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2011 (online 1/26/2011)