R&D: Quality — Product Testing Part 3
With product testing, traditional chemical tests are often called “wet chemistry” or “benchtop tests,” and often involve using solutions of different chemicals to test products. Common traditional tests include pH (a measure of the acidity of a sample), Titration (adding a chemical to a sample until a color change reaction occurs to measure the quantity of a constituent of the sample, such as vitamin C), Loss on Drying/Moisture Content (measuring the amount of moisture in a sample), Thin Layer Chromatography (measuring a chemical “fingerprint” of a sample to verify Identity) and disintegration time (measuring the amount of time a capsule takes to break down in the stomach).
A Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) plate showing an example of a TLC chemical “fingerprint.”
In the last few decades, the use of laboratory instruments to perform chemical analysis has greatly expanded our ability to test materials. Our laboratories (both suppliers’ laboratories and professional contract laboratories) utilize the following instruments:
- Infrared (IR) spectrometer — Measures a “chemical fingerprint” which can be used to verify the Identity of a sample.
- Spectrophotometer — Measures the absorbance of light at different wavelengths; can be used to determine the quantity of vitamins or other compounds within a sample.
- High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) — Very sensitive instrument that separates compounds within a sample dissolved in liquid and measures the quantity of desired compounds to verify Strength specifications (e.g., verifying the level of vitamins in a sample). Quantities are measured in the parts per million range.
- Gas Chromatograph — Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) — Extremely sensitive instrument which operates similar to HPLC, but uses gas instead of liquid. More than one million times more sensitive than HPLC. Useful for measuring Purity of a sample (such as in verifying that a sample is free from pesticides or other undesired chemicals).
- Inductively-Coupled Plasma — Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) — Measures minerals and metals within a sample. Similar sensitivity to that of GC-MS; useful for measuring the Composition (e.g., verifying the quantity of desired minerals in a sample) and Purity (e.g., verifying that a sample does not contain heavy metals) of a sample.
Inductively-Coupled Plasma — Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) Instrument.
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Instrument.
The answer to our question?
An ingredient is tested a minimum of twice before it gets used in product manufacture, and in all it is tested a minimum of three or even four times, with many tests each round, before it gets to you. We take quality THAT seriously!
We hope this information helps you to understand how important Quality is to ARIIX.