Natural Products Insider

NOV-DEC 2018

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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64 INSIDER November/December 2018 Contract Labs purpose assays by auditing them. It's also smart to get a second opinion in certain cases, which is why it's helpful to have a relationship with a consulting fi rm. INSIDER: Like many categories in the health and nutrition industry, there's been a high level of merger and acquisition (M&A) in contract labs. What implications does this have for brands who use contract labs to test their ingredients/ fi nished products? Daniel Sliva, Ph.D., chief science offi cer a nd founder, DSTest Laboratories, Purdue Research Park: The most reliable laboratory results are the data from an independent laboratory which are confi rmed by another independent laboratory. With a high level of M&A, the independent confi rmation of results by other independent laboratories will be diffi cult. Couch: The high volume of M&A of contract laboratories has limited the number of "named" laboratories that are available to support the health and nutrition industry. These labs use the consolidation as a marketing tool to say that they're a "one-stop shop" for all testing needs. However, the fact is there are still, and will always be, many different laboratories that must be used for all the various scientifi c expertise needed for testing health and nutrition material and product samples. This means the level of scientifi c expertise, GLP and GMP compliance, and quality system robustness therein also varies, and that manufacturers and own-label distributors contracting with these laboratories must ensure they are auditing the actual facility where the testing of their materials and products is performed. Sudberg: It means the industry has fewer choices and less freedom to fi nd the best lab to fi t specifi c needs. Imagine you once went to the farmers market for your organic produce, Whole Foods Market for your animal protein, Amazon for your paper goods and Trader Joe's for your dried snacks (because that's what my family does). While it does take more time, we end up with the best and exactly what we want in all the categories. Now imagine you can only go to Walmart for all those things. That's a fi tting analogy for the lab arena today. There is only a handful of reliable small labs that have their specifi c areas of expertise, and a few big ones who are going to try to undercut the little specialty labs while claiming to be able to test everything profi ciently. At the end of the interviews, the respondents were asked if they had any parting words. Atwater and Wyszumiala summed up everybody's thoughts well: "Contract laboratories play an important role in the health and nutrition industry. They can support a manufacturer's research-and- development (R&D) efforts and can provide QC testing for GMP compliance. A clear and detailed quality agreement and strong partnership between the brand owner and contract laboratory are keys to a successful working relationship."

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