The chapter is the latest development of the association, which is a volunteer group of interested chemists and other experts from the dieteray supplement and herbal products industries. The organization includes academics and botanical ingredient company officials from around the world. According to Maged Sharaf, PhD, the head of the organization’s methods review committee and head of the new chapter, the group was founded to foster the responsible use of HPTLC (High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography).
“We established the association in 2012; it was incorporated in Switzerland,” Sharaf told NutraIngredients-USA. “Its intent is to promote the use of HPTLC analysis in botanicals and in other fields.”
Sharaf, who is also scientific business development director for instrument manufacturer CAMAG, said as the botanical ingredient industry has grown, so too has the need for methods development. Some legacy methods for analyzing botanicals were in need of revision and improvement. But also, new adulteration modes were turning up that required new approaches to reliably find them, he said.
“We have been working with different pharmacopeias around the world. We produced a general chapter for the use of HPTLC for botanicals for USP. And we have also worked with the European Pharmacopeia to produce a general chapter,” Sharaf said.
Growth of organization shows it’s meeting a need
Sharaf said the North American chapter includes about 40 members. Membership in the organization includes access to the chapter’s online forum, which is now up and running, he said. The forum is a place where experts can share information about the latest in methods development. The organization has recently added 50 additional methods to the more than 200 approved and validated methods it had posted by the end of 2018, he said.
Plans for the first meeting of the association in North America are now in place. The meeting will take place on Nov. 19, 2019 as part of the broader meeting of the Eastern Analytical Symposium in Princeton, NJ.
The association is also organizing a one day short course slated for Nov. 17 on HPTLC methods in conjunction with the EAS conference. More information on the conference can be found on the EAS website, and information on the short course can be found here.
Sharaf said the rapid development of the association is a sign that it is fulfilling a need in the marketplace. Since its inception the organization now has chapters in India and Australia to go with the European chapter and the new one in North America.