FWD 2 Botanical Adulterants Monitor

Botanical Adulterants Monitor volume 11

Dear Reader

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program has published the fourth in the series of Laboratory Guidance Documents (LGDs). Written by John Cardellina, PhD, the LGD reviews laboratory methods to detect synthetic antimicrobial compounds in products that are marketed as grapefruit seed extracts (GFSE). It provides a review of the chemical components found in authentic GFSE, known adulterants, and then focuses on analytical methods, predominantly chemical methods, to detect the synthetic microbicides.


  Stefan Gafner, PhD
Chief Science Officer, ABC
Technical Director, ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

Recent News 

New Document Provides Guidance on Selection of Appropriate Laboratory Methods to Detect Adulteration of “So-Called” Grapefruit Seed Extracts 

The sale of synthetic antimicrobial compounds labeled as grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) seed extract (GFSE), first reported in 1991, has been reviewed and summarized in a full paper in HerbalGram #94 in 2012 and the recently published GFSE Botanical Adulterants Bulletin. In this third publication by the Program on GFSE, author John Cardellina, PhD, has evaluated published analytical methods to detect the presence of synthetic microbicides in ingredients labeled as GFSE. The review starts with a brief overview of the botany of grapefruit and a summary of the chemical components in authentic GFSE. It lists the synthetic microbicides that have been found in products labeled to contain GFSE, and assesses published analytical methods for their fitness to detect the adulterants. 

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ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program Welcomes New Supporters and Underwriters 

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is grateful to the following companies that have recently committed to financially underwriting the Program:

Network Nutrition – IMCD

Industry Alerts

Evidence for Adulteration of Saw Palmetto Extracts 

In March and April 2017, ABC received analytical data from in-house QC laboratories of Valensa International (Eustis, FL) and Euromed SA (Barcelona, Spain) on a total of eight different lots of adulterated saw palmetto extracts from suppliers in China, India, South Korea, and the United States. While one extract contained an entirely different fatty acid profile from authentic saw palmetto (as measured by the United States Pharmacopoeia [USP] gas chromatography – flame ionization detection [GC-FID] method),1 the other seven samples complied with or deviated only minimally from the USP fatty acid specifications. Another feature of these materials was the unusually low content (<0.01%) of long-chain fatty alcohols. 

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Upcoming Events

Below are descriptions and links to some of the upcoming conferences, seminars, and workshops that may be of interest to learn more on adulteration.

58th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) MORE


Previous Issues of “Botanical Adulterants Monitor”

Available here.

Science Update

Comparison of HPLC-UV and DNA Barcoding for Authentication of Ginkgo, Soy, St. John’s Wort, Valerian and Yohimbe Dietary Supplements

Pawar RS, Handy SM, Cheng R, Shyong N, Grundel E. Assessment of the authenticity of herbal dietary supplements: comparison of chemical and DNA barcoding methods. Planta Med. 2017; doi: 10.1055/s-0043-107881. [Epub ahead of print]

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Comparison of HPLC-MS, TLC, and DNA Barcoding for Authentication St. John’s Wort Dietary Supplements

Raclariu AC, Paltinean R, Vlase L, et al.. Comparative authentication of Hypericum perforatum herbal products using DNAmetabarcoding, TLC and HPLC-MS. Sci Rep. 2017;7:1291. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01389-w.

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HPTLC Detection of Undeclared Food Dyes in Commercial St. John’s Wort Products

Frommenwiler, D, Sudberg S, Sharaf MHM, Bzhelyansky A, Lucas B, Reich E. St. John’s wort versus counterfeit St. John’s wort: An HPTLC study. J AOAC Int. 2016;99(5):1204-1212.

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Investigation into the Composition of a Complex TCM Herbal Formula Reveals Presence of Five Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Yu K, Powell M, Maziarz M, Patel DN. Analysis of an adulterated herbal medicinal product using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with QTOF mass spectrometry. World J Tradit Chin Med. 2016;2(3):1–9.

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Whole Chloroplast Genome Sequencing to Distinguish among Echinacea Species

Reviewed: Zhang N, Erickson DL, Ramchandran P, et al. Analysis of Echinacea chloroplast genomes: Implications for future botanical identification. Sci Rep. 2017;7:216. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00321-6.


UHPLC-MS and 1H NMR Green Tea Metabolome Comparison Allows Establishing Similarity among Commercial Products

Reviewed: Kellogg JJ, Graf TN, Paine MF, McCune JS, Kvalheim OM, Oberlies NH, Cech NB. Comparison of metabolomics approaches for evaluating the variability of complex botanical preparations: Green tea (Camellia sinensis) as a case study. J Nat Prod. 2017; doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b01156. [Epub ahead of print].



Useful Links and Resources

For more information and updates on the work of the three partner organizations of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, please visit ABC at www.herbalgram.org, AHP at www.herbal-ahp.org, and NCNPR at www.pharmacy.olemiss.edu/ncnpr.

Other Helpful Resources and Links

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About the

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is a consortium of independent nonprofit organizations whose mission relates to education, scientific research, and quality of botanical dietary ingredients and related plant-derived materials. The consortium is headed by three nonprofit groups dealing with education and research on medicinal herbs and other beneficial plants: the American Botanical Council, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi. The program is underwritten or endorsed by more than 130 natural products industry companies, independent analytical laboratories, contract research organizations, nonprofit and professional organizations, trade associations, accredited institutions of education in natural medicine, law firms, and media companies that are involved in the production, supply, manufacture, distribution, marketing, analysis, research, and/or education of herbal dietary ingredients and supplements, in the United States and internationally. All publications of the Program are available free-access on its homepage including the “Botanical Adulterants Monitor,” an e-newsletter that conveys Program news, regulatory updates, and recent scientific publications related to adulteration, contamination, identity, and authenticity of botanical raw materials, extracts, and essential oils. Companies, organizations, foundations, and/or individuals interested in supporting this program are invited to contact Ms. Denise Meikel, ABC Development Director, at (512) 926-4900, ext. 120, or by email.


Thank You to Our Supporters

Underwriters and Supporters of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program (as of April 7, 2017)*

*By acknowledging the generous support of these companies and organizations, ABC, AHP, and NCNPR are not endorsing any ingredients or products that may be produced or marketed by them.

Financial Underwriters

21st Century Healthcare

AdvoCare International L.P.

Agilent Technologies, Inc.

Aloecorp, Inc.

Amen Clinics

Amway/Nutrilite Health Institute

Artemis International, Inc.

Atrium Innovations

Aveda Corporation

Beachbody, LLC

BI Nutraceuticals


Bionorica SE


Botanical Liaisons

Bruker BioSpin


Cepham, Inc.

Chemi Nutra

CNCA Health

Complete Phytochemical Solutions

Crila Health

dicentra, Inc.

Doctor’s Best

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

DolCas Biotech, LLC

Douglas Laboratories

Draco Natural Products

Emerson Ecologics

Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.

Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Eu Yan Sang International




Flavex Naturextrakte GmbH


Fruit d'Or

Gaia Herbs

GE Nutrients, Inc.

Global Health Industries

GNC, Inc.

Healthy Lifestyle Brands, LLC

Helios Corp.

Herb Pharm

Herbalife International, Inc.

Horphag Research


Indena USA, Inc.

Indfrag Limited

Ingredient Identity

Ixoreal Biomed, Inc.

Jarrow Formulas

Layn USA, Inc.


Markan Global Enterprises, Inc.

Martin Bauer, Inc.

MediHerb / Integria Healthcare

Metagenics, Inc.

Financial Underwriters

Natreon, Inc.

Natural Alternatives International, Inc.

Natural Factors Nutritional Products, Inc.
   /Bioclinic Naturals

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd.

Nature's Sunshine Products

Nature's Way


Naturex, Inc.

NBTY, Inc.

Network Nutrition – IMCD

New Chapter, Inc.

The New Frontier Foundation Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

Ningbo Greenhealth Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Novel Ingredients

NOW Foods

Nu Skin Enterprises/Pharmanex

Nutraceuticals Corp.

Organic India

Ortho Molecular Products

Pacific Nutritional Inc.

Paragon Laboratories

Pathway International Pty Limited

Perrigo Company

Pharmatoka SAS

Pharmavite, LLC

Phoenix Formulations

PLT Health Solutions, Inc.

Polyphenolics, Division of Constellation Brands, Inc.

Pure Encapsulations

Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems

RFI Ingredients, LLC

Rosenbush and Zimmerman Family Fund

Sabinsa Corporation

Schwabe North America


SFI Flordis

Shaklee Corp.

Standard Process, Inc.

Strategic Sourcing, Inc.

Thorne Research, Inc.

Tishcon Corp.

Traditional Medicinals, Inc.

TSI Group


Univera, Inc.

Valensa International

V.D.F. FutureCeuticals

Verdure Sciences

Vitamin Shoppe

VitaQuest International

Whole Foods Market

Trade Associations

American Herbal Products Association (US)

Australian Self Medication Industry (Australia)

Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (Australia)

British Herbal Medicine Association (UK)

Canadian Health Food Association (Canada)

Complementary Medicines Australia (Australia)

Consumer Healthcare Products Association (US)

Council for Responsible Nutrition (US)

International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA)

National Animal Supplement Council (US)

Natural Products Association (US)

Natural Products New Zealand (NZ)

United Natural Products Alliance (US)

Nonprofit/Professional Associations

Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

American Herbalists Guild

American Society of Pharmacognosy

AOAC International

Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States
Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium

Irish Register of Herbalists (IRE)

National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK)

Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada (NHPRS Canada)

Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute

Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA)


Bastyr University

Boucher Institute for Naturopathic Medicine

Center for Natural Products Technologies, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois-Chicago

Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Chinese Medicine

National College of Natural Medicine

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine
Third-Party Analytical Laboratories

Alkemist Labs

AuthenTechnologies LLC

Bent Creek Institute

BotaniCert (France)

British Columbia Institute of Technology


Covance Laboratories

Creative Accord, LLC

Eurofins Scientific Inc.

Flora Research Labs

NSF International

PhytoLab (Germany)

Spectrix Labs

Tampa Bay Analytical


Alive Publishing Group

Delicious Living


Holistic Primary Care

Informa Exhibitions US

Integrator Blog

Media Relations, Inc.

Modern Healthcare Practitioner

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Medicine Journal

Natural Products INSIDER


Nutraceuticals World


Nutrition Business Journal

Nutrition Industry Executive

Nutritional Outlook

Vitamin Retailer

WholeFoods Magazine


Law Firms & Regulatory Consultants

Amin Talati & Upadhye, LLC

Greenberg Traurig, LLP (James Prochnow)

Law Office of Holly Bayne, P.C.

Robert Forbes & Associates

Susan Brienza, LLC

Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, LLP

Contract Research Organizations

KGK Synergize


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