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More About Adulteration Testing


NOW Employs Industry-Leading Adulterant Testing Method to Safeguard Product Safety and Purity

NOW is dedicated to providing safe, high quality natural products to consumers. In 2009 we began developing and validating a rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive testing method, which can be used to screen for both known and emerging adulterants, to identify potential adulterants in dietary supplement raw materials. Understanding the importance of sharing advances in testing methods with other companies in the natural products industry, we published this method in the peer-reviewed journal Vibrational Spectroscopy (2011), so that it would be available to the industry as a whole.

Several years later, this method continues to be a valuable tool for adulteration testing throughout the industry. In fact, two published methods adapted our testing method to distinguish between counterfeit and authentic prescription drugs (Ortiz et al., 2013; Anzanello et al., 2013).

These methods utilize similar analytical FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) techniques with the addition of a mathematical process called Principal Component Analysis (PCA). These methods are an extension of the work initiated by NOW, further demonstrating the utility and value of the methodology developed by NOW scientists. Anzanello et al. (2013) state that NOW’s method “…[becomes] fundamental for detecting the presence of multiple PDE-5 inhibitors with a single test,” an integral step in identifying adulterated materials.

Since its acceptance in 2010, this method for adulteration screening has been used to test over 1,400 incoming lots of specific raw material for the presence of adulterants, including erectile dysfunction drugs, weight-loss drugs, melamine and steroids. NOW scientists continue to adapt the method to include novel adulterants as they appear, helping to ensure the quality and safety of the dietary supplements manufactured by NOW and the entire natural products industry.

At NOW the safety and quality of our natural products are of the utmost importance, and we’ll continue to employ every method at our disposal to ensure the identity, purity and safety of the products we produce.


Anzanello, M.J.; Ortiz, R.S.; Limberger, R.P.; Mayorga, P. A multivariate-based wavenumber selection method for classifying medicines into authentic and counterfeit classes. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 83 (2013), 209-214.

Ortiz, R.S.; de Cassia Mariotti, K.; Fank, B.; Limberger, R.P.; Anzanello, M.J.; Mayorga, P. Counterfeit Cialis and Viagra fingerprinting by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy with chemometry: Can the same pharmaceutical powder mixture be used to falsify two medicines? Forensic Science International 226 (2013), 282-289.

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