Amber Thelen, director of product development, Purity-IQ, said that its non-targeted analytical chemistry technique, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, is what sets them apart.
“When you're looking specifically for authenticity, you should be looking at the whole profile of the product, not something specific. So HPTLC, DNA–those are all very targeted methods. You have already decided what you're looking for before you test, whereas NMR is capturing the whole profile of the product,” she explained.
The demand for mushroom products in recent years opened the doors for fraudulent products. Species such as Reishi and Chaga can be costly, making them prime targets for adulteration. And with the increase in online sales, selling adulterated products directly to consumers has never been easier.
“As soon as something becomes popular, that's when that product can become at risk. It's a risk for consumers, because consumers are going out there, they're looking, they're not necessarily informed on what to look for. So we also try to do a lot of education on that part, especially on the consumer side to try to help them out,” said Thelen.
Thelen added that Purity-IQ has been testing mushrooms for about two years, working closely with Nammex to build up a robust library to verify all the different species. The company’s NMR technology allows them to not only identify the species, but also origin, the plant part (mycelium vs fruiting body) and the ability to differentiate between extracts.
Up next, Purity-IQ will tackle coffee to determine whether its Arabica or Robusta beans.