Ever heard the phrase, “Time is Money?” In the dietary supplement industry, like any other industry, products need to be shipped to the customer to complete the sale. And, since shipping the product is generally dependent on quality control approving the test results for release, time is of the essence.
Being organized and having a plan will help keep things moving quickly. One idea for improving the quality control process is to review all incoming raw materials and determine what testing can be completed before the blending process. Heavy metals, residual solvents, pesticides, identification, potency or assay, microbiology and other testing can be completed on the raw material. For example; heavy metal levels should not be affected by the manufacturing process, so screening the raw materials should provide accurate results when the product is released. This can be a huge time saver in the long-run.
If so much testing can be done at the beginning of the process, then what are we waiting on? Often, microbiology testing is the last step to complete before the product can be shipped. And since microbiological contamination is common in the manufacturing process, microbiology screening needs to be completed on the raw materials and again on the finished product before it is shipped. Technology and science have come a long way and this has given us rapid micro test methods, which can be completed within 48 hours. Although these tests are not appropriate for every product matrix, they can be used with many products. This rapid testing saves time and can potentially save money.
Potency and label claim testing are also required for finished products. These tests are often complicated in the supplement matrix. Since USP/FCC methods are usually designed for the raw material matrix, once these ingredients are blended together, interferences may be found where recovery may be difficult. Testing is the only way to determine what potency markers are possible to measure. Once you know your product, you can tailor the appropriate finished product testing for the final release specifications.
Getting organized; testing your raw materials; and having a plan for finished product release testing, will go a long way in shipping your products faster. Additionally, using an ISO 17025 accredited testing lab that is proficient in the methods you require will also reduce the delays. And in those rare instances when everything seems to go wrong, SORA Labs can RUSH the testing you need to get you out of a bind!