Vitaquest has long implemented some of the quality control measures that are outlined in TotalQ, but the initiative marks the first time in which these measures are outlined and put in one place, Tom Lawson, VP of quality operations and food safety for the company, told NutraIngredients-USA.
The initiative’s announcement came at the same time as a rebranding, which included a new logo and corporate identity “that underscores the company’s focus on delivering value to the marketplace and its investments across a broad range of value-adding activities,” according to a statement from CEO Patrick Brueggmen.
“To give you a sense of the extent of our commitment to quality and safety, at Vitaquest, we perform assays on more than 50,000 raw materials and finished products—in-house—every year,” Brueggmen added.
Under the TotalQ initiative, “every material that enters our facilities undergoes initial identification testing via spectroscopy (FTNIR or FTIR) or chromatography (HPLC or TLC) and comparison to an approved library standard or reference standard,” Lawson said.
“Further ingredient-specific identification testing is conducted where appropriate, such as genetic ID testing for probiotics and DNA barcoding for crude botanicals,” he added.
Lawson told us that the company manufactures 4,000 products each year, from tablets (chewables, effervescent, and more), specialty capsules, shelf-stable probiotic finished products, and a multitude of powdered products.
Samples are rigorously tested—starting from arrival of the raw material, to during the manufacturing process, to post manufacturing once in finished product form.
“Vitaquest employs 24 chemists, three PhDs and four microbiologists as part of their full-service analytical and microbiological laboratories. This group is expert in method development and validation services to manage never-before addressed issues when it comes to quality management – which the company shares with the industry at large,” Lawson added.
According to Brueggman, comprehensive quality systems are just a start for the company. “We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers – whether it’s a new formulation approach, a new delivery system or a new way of ensuring quality and safety. We want to deliver what’s next to the industry,” he said.
“We’re very excited to share TotalQ and our ideas on how we can become a better partner for our customers as they look to build their own brands in the marketplace,” he added.