FWD 2 Botanical Adulterants Monitor
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Dear Reader

The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted the botanical industry in many ways, most importantly by demanding new approaches to keep employees safe while attempting to avoid disruptions of the botanical supply chain and product manufacturing and distribution. The sharp increase in sales of herbal and fungal ingredients with immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties related to consumer interests as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a situation where the demand may outpace the supply, and therefore create a situation where the risk of economically motivated adulteration (EMA) is increased. 

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

ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program

Recent News 

English Lavender Essential Oil Botanical Adulterants Prevention Bulletin Published 

English lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia), also known as common lavender or lavender, is the essential oil obtained by distillation of the lavender flowering tops. The oil is widely used to help with anxiety and to promote restful sleep. Lavender oil and/or ingredients labeled as lavender oil are also popular ingredients in personal care, home care, and cosmetic products .

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Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program Recognizes Peer Reviewer Contributions

The extensive peer review of documents published as part of BAPP is an integral part of providing accurate and reliable information to the international botanical trade. Each of the four Botanical Adulterants Prevention Bulletins and Laboratory Guidance Documents sent for peer review in 2019 were evaluated by 14-29 experts from academia, industry, and nonprofit organizations, while the Botanical Adulterants Monitor was evaluated by three to five reviewers.

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

The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program is grateful to the following companies that have recently committed to financially underwriting the Program:
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op
  • Innovative Natural Solutions (INS Farms)
  • Mary Kay Inc.

Industry Alerts

Unclear Reason for Deviations in Ginkgo Leaf Extract Fingerprints  

The American Botanical Council and BAPP have been alerted to the sale of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgoaceae) leaf extracts with an uncharacteristic fingerprint in the region of flavonol aglycones (quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin) prior to hydrolysis. 

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Adulteration of European Elder Berry Extracts on the Rise 

Herbal dietary supplement manufacturer Nature’s Way (Green Bay, WI) has shared data from their in-house investigation into the authenticity of commercial bulk and finished dietary supplement products labeled to contain European elder (Sambucus nigra, Adoxaceae)1 berry extracts. 

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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 and related quality control issues. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conferences may be postponed or cancelled.



Previous Issues of “Botanical Adulterants Monitor”

Available here.

Science Update

Food Supplements Claiming to Contain Broccoli Sold Online Found to Contain Glucosinolates from Other Plants

 Hensel A, Lechtenberg M. Nahrungsergänzungsmittel auf Brokkolibasis – wie sieht die Qualitätsituation aus? [German] Z Phytother. 2020;41(03):113-122.

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Broccoli Brassica oleracea

HPTLC method to Authenticate Reishi Dietary Supplements

Reviewed:  Frommenwiler DA, Trefzer D, Schmid M, Cañigueral S, Reich E. Comprehensive HPTLC fingerprinting: A novel economic approach to evaluating the quality of Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body. J Liq Chromatogr Rel Techn. 2020;43(11-12);414-423.

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Undeclared Hibiscus and Mulberry Detected in Commercial Cranberry Extracts

Reviewed:  Gardena C, Scialpi A, Fachechi C, Simonetti P. Identification of markers for the authentication of cranberry extract and cranberry-based food supplements. Heliyon. 2020;6:e03863.

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H-NMR Study of Cranberry Dietary Supplements Shows Substantial Differences in Composition

Reviewed:  Turbitt JR, Colson KL, Killday KB, Milstead A, Neto CC. Application of 1H-NMR-based metabolomics to the analysis of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) supplements. Phytochem Anal. 2020;31(1):68-80.

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Cranberry Vaccinium macrocarpon

US FDA Scientists Publish Results of the Analysis of 59 Commercial Products Claiming to Contain Bitter Orange Peel or its Amines

Reviewed:  Pawar RS, Sagi S, Leontyev D. Analysis of bitter orange dietary supplements for natural and synthetic phenethylamines by LC-MS/MS. Drug Test Anal. 2020. [epub ahead of print]

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Orange Citrus sinensis


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 Prevention 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 September 21, 2020)*

*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.





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