GRMA partners with IPA to work towards harmonized GMPs for probiotic supplements

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

“Harmonized certification for probiotics is much needed,” said George Paraskevakos, IPA Executive Director, about the new partnership with GRMA.   Image © nadisja / Getty Images
“Harmonized certification for probiotics is much needed,” said George Paraskevakos, IPA Executive Director, about the new partnership with GRMA. Image © nadisja / Getty Images

Related tags: Ipa, grma, Probiotics

The International Probiotics Association (IPA) and the Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA) will establish a Probiotics Working group set to harmonize GMP requirements for probiotic dietary supplements.

GRMA is a store-brand industry initiative driven by retailers, manufacturers, trade associations, certification bodies, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders seeking to improve quality, safety and regulatory compliance to ultimately benefit the customer.

Manufacturers of dietary supplements must comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), while retailers may also have a number of additional requirements for manufacturers, which can lead to variety of standards. The GRMA aims to “tie” all these additional auditing requirements into one industry audit for retailers to audit and inspect supplier and manufacturer vendors.

These standards should reduce the number and associated costs of audits, while strengthening safety, quality and trust throughout the supply chain.

Due to the unique challenges facing probiotics, certain GMP elements have a heightened impact on key product attributes, including shelf life, stability, and efficacy. The new GRMA-IPA initiative, announced this morning, will focus on addressing these challenges by evaluating the requirements within both the IPA Manufacturing Guideline and the NSF/ANSI 455-2 standard for dietary supplements.

The primary goal of this collaboration is to have a harmonized set of GMP requirements under the GRMA certification program and help reduce audit tourism, said the organizations in a release.

“Harmonized certification for probiotics is much needed,” ​explained George Paraskevakos, IPA Executive Director. “Probiotics are a unique category and need to be treated as such when they are being manufactured as finished products. Increasing quality standards through a certification program will ensure consumers and healthcare professionals have access to probiotic products that have been manufactured with high quality standards and deliver benefits.”

“A harmonized approach not only will ensure quality but also remove confusion in the market which will help consumers make informed decisions when choosing quality probiotics,” ​he added.  

Paraskevakos told us that the work is scheduled to begin early in the new year, and added that education workshops will also be created for those interested in becoming more versed on these.

“Providing a consistent set of manufacturing practices and requirements enables the consumer, manufacturer, and retailer to all win,”​ said Allyn Shultis, Executive Director of the GRMA. “We are really excited to launch the new working group focused on harmonizing the IPA GMP requirements with the publicly accredited consensus standard, 455-2, for dietary supplements.”

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