Non GMO certification has been viewed as problematical for many supplements, but no one disputes its potential market value. The way the Non GMO Project’s questionnaire developed over the past several years started to take supplement manufacturers down paths that were seen as difficult if not impossible to complete successfully for many multi-ingredient formulas. The problem was pressing enough to lead to the foundation of a group devoted solely to the topic called the Coalition for Supplement Sustainability, which wrapped it its first year of operation with a meeting at the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA in March.
Things are perhaps simpler for a one-ingredient formula like the Sunfiber product. Taiyo has been developing the ingredient, which is derived from fiber taken from the guar plant, over a number of years, so it has a wealth of data on and experience with the supply chain. But simple does not necessarily mean easy.
Long road to certification
“The process of working with the Non-GMO Project and Food Chain ID, including their online registration and communication tools, was surely not as streamlined as we would have hoped. Working with the registration process that they have in place definitely took longer than we had anticipated. However, we found that their rigorous attention to best practices for GMO avoidance, including segregation and traceability to prevent contamination, absolutely assures the industry and consumers that they truly are getting a non GMO product,” Scott Smith, vice president of Taiyo International told NutraIngredients-USA.
Smith said the interest from customers in the US for third party certifications like Non GMO Project Verified is growing and shows no sign of abating. Smith said Taiyo supports consumers’ right to know what is in their food, but the work that went into getting the NGPV certification was directed mostly at meeting their customers’ needs.
“Taiyo strives to provide our customers with first in class regulatory and marketing support. As an ingredient supplier, we feel that offering verification on the raw material will provide them with yet another benefit to using our ingredients,” he said.
Thom Melcher of Tomorrow’s Nutrition said Taiyo’s support was invaluable in helping to navigate the certification labyrinth.
“In addition to providing us with a fully verified ingredient, Taiyo helped us to understand the Non-GMO Project Verification process and the items needed to complete the submission. We were able to achieve verification in a very short period of time,” he said.
Smith said Taiyo is working with the Non GMO Project to gain additional certifications on its other ingredients.