The new program called Alkemist Assured, was formally announced yesterday. It consists of both a verification seal that can be used on labels as well as something the company is calling Next Generation Transparency (NGT).
Sharing testing results is something that has been done on an ad hoc basis in the industry for years. But the results in terms of boosting trust and transparency have been mixed at best. Some companies shared test results that pertained to lots tested months or years before. Others put up Certificates of Analysis (CofAs) that pertained to one product line at one time, implying that that made a statement about the quality of all of their products.
In addition, many of those test results were shared without comment or explanation. Consumers who lacked analytical chemistry training, in other words, almost all of them, lacked the context for deriving any meaning from what they were looking at.
Cutting through the clutter
The Alkemist program supplies participating brands with a clearly designed, simplified graphical representation of what the lab tested for, how it went about it, and what the tests found. It includes a representation of what the HPTLC readout for the material tested looks like and how Alkemist uses that to determine if the material passed. The simplified, engaging representation strips away the large amounts of peripheral ‘noise’ present in a typical CofA.
The next level of the program is a step up in commitment that allows brands to use the Alkemist Assured seal on their labels and promotional materials. To qualify for this level of verification a brand must commit using the lab’s identity, potency, and contaminant testing services for raw material and blended ingredient quality for each product in the program for a minimum of one year.
“Accurate testing by a proficient lab is a tried-and-true demonstration of label accuracy and quality, so it has always made sense to me that testing reports be shared with consumers,” said Elan Sudberg, CEO of Alkemist Labs. “It’s gratifying to see the industry embrace this vision, and it is the right thing to do for the people who take our industry’s products.”
Program launches with impressive roster of participants
A number of Alkemist’s customers have signed up for the whole program, included True Grace Health, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer. The company is launching with its MycoRenew mushroom supplement and will add other product lines in a phased fashion.
“At True Grace, intention and transparency are at the core of everything we do,” said owner and CMO Kristie Hall. “Partnering with Alkemist Labs, an accredited third-party, ensures the quality and integrity of our mushrooms. Our consumers deserve to know that any mushroom they’re putting in their body has been identified correctly, is uncontaminated, and contains guaranteed levels of active compounds.”
Major player signs on
The largest and best known company to participate in the program so far is New Chapter, which is part of Procter & Gamble. New Chapter is currently making C of A’s visible to retail customers.
“New Chapter is excited to partner with Alkemist Labs on Next Generation Transparency, an exciting initiative aimed at helping customers find products that have identity-assured botanicals through cutting-edge quality testing measures,” said Charlotte Traas, BCMH New Chapter Director of Education and Training.
Among other participants are:
- SUANFARMA, a life sciences company specializing in the development, production, and commercialization of ingredients for the pharmaceutical, veterinary, and nutraceutical industries. It is the first ingredient supplier to sign on to the program.
- Beehive Botanicals, which will use the program for both its beehive derived finished products and raw materials such as royal jelly, bee pollen granules, and propolis concentrate.
- Winged Women’s Wellness, which says it will launch Alkemist Assured beginning its Happy Start mood & stress powder.
- Lost Empire Herbs plants to use the Alkemist Assured seal on its most popular pine pollen and tongkat ali products, as well as rolling out NGT consumer reports on its botanical products.
- Quality of Life Labs will use the Alkemist Assured seal program for its AHCC Kinoko Platinum finished product.