FWD 2 Botanical Adulterants Monitor - American Botanical Council

Botanical Adulterants Monitor Issue 2

Dear Reader

There has been plenty of news on adulteration for consideration in this new issue of the “Botanical Adulterants Monitor.” New analytical methods to authenticate botanicals and detect adulteration are published regularly, and the Botanical Adulterants Program has reached a new milestone after the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) sent a letter of support acknowledging their willingness to endorse our Program and cooperate with us on a broad international level. The public endorsement of IADSA is a sign of an effort by the responsible members of the international dietary/food supplement industry to work together to improve the quality of herbal supplements. According to ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal, This endorsement and the cooperation between our Program and IADSA will help take our work on adulteration education to a new quantum level of impact in countries around the world. With regard to other news, we are happy to welcome John H. Cardellina, II, PhD, as a technical consultant and editor to the Program. His wealth of knowledge and years of experience as a natural product chemist will be highly valuable to the Program.

The regulatory section below details two cases from 2013 (from Bulgaria and Germany) and 2014 (from Hong Kong, China) in which products were recalled due to adulteration with tropane alkaloids or tropane alkaloid-containing plant material... MORE

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

ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

Recent News

IADSA Endorses Botanical Adulterants Program

The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) has publicly endorsed the Botanical Adulterants Program (BAP). IADSA was


Skullcap Laboratory Guidance Document to be published

After extensive peer review, the first Laboratory Guidance Document (LGD) is in its final stage of publication. Last-minute additions

... MORE

Distinguished Scientist John Cardellina Joins Botanical Adulterants Program

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is pleased to announce the addition of John H. Cardellina, II, 

... MORE

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

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is grateful for the support of the following companies

... MORE
ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

Regulatory Alerts

Bulgarian Marshmallow Root Adulterated with Belladonna Root

The 2013 report Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission listed one case of


Herbal Recalls in Hong Kong

On August 28,2014, the Hong Kong Department of Health (DH) issued a recall of four herbal medicines and one animal-based medicine, namely clematis (Clematis


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.

USP Workshop on Chemical Contaminants in Foods
Rockville, MD: November 20-21, 2014


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 Weblinks

AHPA Botanical Identity References Compendium:

Chinese Medicinal Plants Authentication Centre:

European Commision's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed:


Previous Issue of Botanical Adulterants Monitor

Available here.

Science Update

Focus on Anthocyanins

 Yamamoto M, Yamaura K, Ishiwatari M, et al. Degradation Index for quality evaluation of commercial dietary supplements of bilberry extract. J Food Sci. 2013;78(3):S477-S483.

A group from Chiba University (Chiba, Japan) investigated the heat stability of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus, Ericaceae) or blueberry (V. angustifolium [lowbush blueberry]; V. corymbosum [highbush blueberry]; possibly other Vaccinium spp.) anthocyanins in solid dosage forms (soft capsules, tablets, and granules). MORE

Metabolomic Profiling of Saw Palmetto Extracts Allows Distinguishing among Materials Produced Using Different Extraction Methods and to Detect Adulteration with Other Vegetable Oils

 Booker A, Suter A, Krnjic A, et al. A phytochemical comparison of saw palmetto products using gas chromatography and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy metabolomic profiling. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2014;66(6):811-822.

This is another example of collaboration between a dietary supplement manufacturer (Bioforce AG; Roggwil, Switzerland) and an academic institution (University of London; London, UK). MORE

Comprehensive Investigation Finds African Mango Seed Powder Adulterated with Goji Berry

 Li J, Pan L, Naman CB, et al. Pyrrole alkaloids with potential cancer chemopreventive activity isolated from a goji berry-contaminated commercial sample of African mango. J Agric Food Chem. 2014;62(22):5054-5060.

In a collaboration between Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc. (Spanish Fork, UT) and the Ohio State University, a sample of commercially available purported powdered African mango (Irvingia gabonensis, Irvingiaceae) seed was submitted to bioactivity-guided fractionation after an initial screening revealed potent cancer chemopreventive activity of the chloroform-soluble portion in a quinone-reductase assay. MORE

A Combination of HPLC Fingerprints and the Agnuside/Casticin Ratio Serves as a Useful Tool to Evaluate the Qualities of Chaste Berry Preparations

Fukahori M, Kobayashi S, Naraki Y, et al. Quality evaluation of medicinal products and health foods containing chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus) in Japanese, European and American markets. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2014;62(4):379-385.

Twenty-four commercial chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus, Lamiaceae) berry products were purchased from a Japanese online shopping site and an American online shopping site and analyzed by HPLC-UV. The commercial samples were separated into medicinal products (n = 7) and health food products (n = 17). MORE

UV Spectrophotometry with Chemometric Analysis as a Means to Authenticate Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Gad HA, El-Ahmady SH, Abou-Shoer MI, Al-Azizi MM. A modern approach to the authentication and quality assessment of thyme using UV spectroscopy and chemometric analysis. Phytochem Anal. 2013;24(6):520-526.

Thyme is one of the botanicals where a number of different species are accepted as having medicinal benefits. The thyme monograph of the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) lists two species, thyme (Thymus vulgaris, Lamiaceae) and Spanish thyme (T. zygis), as acceptable sources. MORE

The Importance of Specificity – Alleged Adulteration of Dietary Supplements with Thyroid Hormones Based on Inadequate Analytical Testing

Kang GY, Parks JR, Fileta B, et al. Thyroxine and triiodothyronine content in commercially available thyroid health supplements. Thyroid. 2013;23(10):1233-1237. http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/501/021465-501.html.

Many health supplements containing herbal extracts or animal-based thyroid tissue are marketed to improve thyroid function. MORE

HPLC Method Allows Detection of Undeclared Ashwagandha Aerial Part Material in Commercial Ashwagandha Root Products

Mundkinajeddu D, Sawant LP, Koshy R, et al. Development and validation of high performance liquid chromatography method for simultaneous estimation of flavonoid glycosides in Withania somnifera aerial parts. ISRN Analytical Chemistry. March 10, 2014;2014:351547. doi: 10.1155/2014/351547.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, Solanaceae) is one of the most important medicinal plants in traditional Indian medicine systems. MORE


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 November 5, 2014)*

Financial Underwriters
21st Century Healthcare
AdvoCare International
Agilent Technologies, Inc.
Amen Clinics
Amway/Nutrilite Health Institute
Artemis International, Inc.
Aveda Corporation
BI Nutraceuticals
Bionorica SE
Cepham, Inc.
Chemi Nutra
CNCA Health
Crila Health
dicentra, Inc.
Doctor's Best
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
DSM Nutritional Products,
Emerson Ecologics
Enzymatic Therapy, Inc.
Ethical Naturals, Inc.
Eu Yan Sang International
Flavex Naturextrakte GmbH
Gaia Herbs
Gencor Nutrients, Inc.
GNC, Inc.
Helios Corp.
Herb Pharm
Herbalife International,
Horphag Research
Indena USA, Inc.
Ingredient Identity
Markan Global Enterprises,
Martin Bauer, Inc.
MediHerb / Integria Healthcare
Metagenics, Inc.
Natural Factors
    Nutritional Products,
    Inc./Bioclinic Naturals

Financial Underwriters
Natural Grocers by
    Vitamin Cottage
Nature's Sunshine Products
Nature's Way
Naturex, Inc.
NBTY, Inc.
New Chapter, Inc.
The New Frontier
    Foundation Fund of
    the Greater Cedar
    Rapids Community
Ningbo Greenhealth
    Pharmaceutical Co.,
Novel Ingredients
NOW Foods
Nu Skin Enterprises/Pharmanex
Nutritional Laboratories
Ortho Molecular Products
Pacific Nutritional Inc.
Paragon Laboratories
Pathway International
    Pty Limited
Perrigo Company
Pharmatoka SAS
Pharmavite, LLC
Polyphenolics, Division of
    Constellation Brands, Inc.
Pure Encapsulations
Rainbow Light Nutritional
RFI Ingredients, LLC
Sabinsa Corporation
Schwabe North America
Shaklee Corp
Standard Process, Inc.
Thorne Research, Inc.
Traditional Medicinals,
Triarco Industries, Inc.
Valensa International
V.D.F. FutureCeuticals
Verdure Sciences
Vitamin Shoppe
Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Whole Foods Market
Trade Associations
Australian Self Medication
Australian Tea Tree
    Industry Association
    Healthcare Council of
    Australia (Australia)
Consumer Healthcare
    Products Association
Council for Responsible
    Nutrition (US)
International Alliance of 
     Associations (IADSA)
Natural Products
    Association (US)
United Natural Products
    Alliance (US)

Nonprofit/Professional Associations
American Association of 
American Society of
Council of Colleges of
    Acupuncture and
    Oriental Medicine
Personalized Lifestyle
    Medicine Institute
Society for Medicinal
    Plant and Natural
    Product Research
    - GA

Bastyr University
Boucher Institute for
    Naturopathic Medicine
National College of
    Natural Medicine
Southwest College of
    Naturopathic Medicine
University of Bridgeport
    of Naturopathic

Third-Party Analytical Laboratories
Alkemist Labs
AuthenTechnologies LLC
Bent Creek Institute
British Columbia Institute
    of Technology
Covance Laboratories
Eurofins Scientific Inc.
Flora Research Labs
NSF International
Spectrix Labs
Tampa Bay Analytical


Delicious Living
Functional Ingredients
Holistic Primary Care
Informa Exhibitions US
Integrator Blog
Media Relations, Inc.
Modern Healthcare Practitioner
Natural Foods Merchandiser
Natural Products INSIDER
Nutraceuticals World
Nutrition Business Journal
Nutrition Industry Executive
Nutritional Outlook

Vitamin Retailer
WholeFoods Magazine

Law Firms
Amin Talati, LLC
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
    (James Prochnow)
Law Office of Holly Bayne,
Robert Forbes &

Contract Research Organizations

KGK Synergize
Medicus Research

Korean Ginseng Research
Shanghai Research Center
    for TCM Modernization/
    Shanghai Institute of
    Materia Medica of the
    Chinese Academy of
*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.