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Pick the Right Herbs

Pick the Right Herbs

Tuesday, August 19th 2003

How Nature's Way Guarantee Quality

The events earlier this year that lead to the suspension of a manufacturing licence of an Australian pharmaceutical company and the recall of thousands of dietary supplements and herbal remedies has reinforced the importance of adhering to quality manufacturing processes.

Nature's Way is Obsessed with Quality ...

Nature's Way is a very different herbal manufacturer. Every employee in the company is a member of the Quality Assurance Team. Since the products are just as likely to show up in their homes as yours, they are committed to make certain every product is authentic, potent and pure.

Nature's Way... A Cut Above the Rest!

To ensure the finest quality products are delivered to you, Nature's Way only work with a handful of Nature's Way certified suppliers who can consistently provide clean, potent herbs.

A Five Step Quality Process

With herbal remedies it has brought home to many consumers, the critical importance of only using herbal remedies from a specialist herbal manufacturer such as Nature's Way, who understands the specific requirements of manufacturing herbal remedies. They use a five step quality assurance process.

STEP 1: Herbs and Laboratory Testing

The raw materials are isolated in a Quarantine Room until they can be thoroughly tested. In this area the herbs are identified and evaluated for their quality. Specially trained lab technicians test the herbs thoroughly for contamination, moisture or unsanitary condition. If they do not meet Nature's Way strict specifications, they are rejected and returned to the vendor. Nature's Way are so careful with quality they reject more herbs than some companies sell in a year! As a backup monitoring step, a sample of each raw material is kept in a retention area for a period of up to six years.

Each herb shipment is assigned a lot number for identification and tracking purposes. That way it can be tracked and monitored through all processes until it is distributed and stocked on store shelves. Samples of all herbs are then rigorously examined. In the Quality Assurance (Q.A.) Laboratory chemists and technicians perform the following evaluations.

Microbiological testing for mould, bacteria, yeasts etc.
Organoleptic (sensory) testing against standard reference samples for proper colour, flavour, aroma and appearance to ascertain that the raw herb meets quality specifications.
Microscopic examination to verify identity and check for contaminants.
Chemical analyses such as Thin Layer Chromatography and High Performance Liquid Chromatography are employed to confirm the herb's identity and potency.

Only after a herb meets all these stringent tests is a Q.A. Release Sticker placed on each container of raw material. This allows it to be removed from the quarantine area.

STEP 2: Weighing and Mixing

After the herbs are released from the quarantine area, they are delivered to the Component Verification Area to be scooped and weighed according to the quantity specified for the batch being produced. Detailed records are kept to properly document the specific lot numbers and quantities scooped for the specific batch to ensure traceability of each of the materials in the product.
The herbs are then routed to a mixing area where trained Quality Assurance Inspectors verify the proper blending of herbal formulas. Q.A. sets exact specifications for each batch as certain percentages of each herb are mixed into herbal combinations. Once herbs are scooped, weighed and mixed, they are ready to be encapsulated.

STEP 3: 90,000 Unblemished Capsules an Hour

In the twelve climate-controlled encapsulating rooms, connected by a unique air-filtering system, each of the twelve encapsulating machines can precisely open, fill and close more than 90,000 capsules per machine per hour. Production operators check and record their operations six times an hour, to prevent empty, cracked or dimpled capsules during production.
To ensure product purity, each of these machines is broken down, steam cleaned and sanitised between every batch of herbs, so that no trace of the previous product is left. This procedure takes approximately two hours.

STEP 4: Inspection and Packaging

Even though the controls create an almost flawless finished product, all capsules are carefully hand inspected for dents, splits and fill density prior to packaging. During this operation, external herb powder is polished from the capsules, to create the shiny, clean capsules you see whenever you open a Nature's Way bottle.

Quality Assurance continues through the packaging process as well. Operators test sample bottles every ten minutes. A safety seal is placed under every cap and a second safety seal is shrink-wrapped around the bottle to ensure extra protection for consumers. Each bottle is stamped with a batch number and expiry date.

STEP 5: Post Production Assessment

After packaging, all products are held in a Finished Goods Quarantine Room where the labels, quantities and work orders are all examined for any discrepancies.

Only after this final inspection is a "release sticker" placed on each pallet and it goes to the warehouse except for a small sample that is retained for up to six years to allow for stability testing and traceability.

Nature's Way provides ALL of these procedures to ensure quality:

Performs stability tests to find out how stable the active ingredients are in each herb by testing and re-testing the same herb for each year for up to five years.

Scientifically tests for bulk density to determine how much powder can be put in each capsule.

Employs a state-of-the-art statistical process control system where each individual operator is responsible for the quality of their own product.

Performs a complete spectrum of scientific tests in it's own laboratories, staffed by highly-qualified microbiologists and chemists.

Throughout the entire production process, the Nature's Way Quality Assurance Department monitors compliance with both FDA and NNFA cGMP.

Nature's Way adhere to strict pharmaceutical requirements which state that methods, facilities or controls used in the manufacture, processing, packing or holding of products conform with regulations that will assure that such products meet their safety requirements and also have the identity, strength, quality and purity that they are represented to possess.

The goal at Nature's Way is not only to meet these standards, but to exceed them. All this might make Nature's Way seem a bit fanatical about quality. But when you consider it's your health we are talking about, we think you will agree a bit of fanaticism can be a good thing.

All this means choosing quality herbal supplements is really quite simple. All you have to do is choose the ones with the Nature's Way leaf and you know you can "Trust the Leaf".

Reproduced unabridged from the July September 2003 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all from Nature's Way:

AKN Skincare
Blood Sugar
Black Cohosh Standardised
Olive Leaf Extract
Korean Ginseng
Cascara Sagrada
Red Raspberry Leaf
Lactase Enzyme

Related health information can be found here:

Alfamax, a rich source of Vitamins and Minerals
Bitter Orange as an appetite suppresssant and to aid fat loss
Cat's Claw, ideal for immune defense and digestive disorders
Cayenne to strengthen the circulation, equalise blood pressure, arrest bleeding & assist with colds
DIM Plus to assist in cancer prevention
Ensure healthy gut function with probiotic supplementation
Feeling in need of a rehaul? Why not try Dandelion as a powerful blood cleanser and liver tonic?
Liver cleansing herbs
Poor memory? Cold hands or feet? Get things circulating again with Ginkgo biloba

Related articles can be found here:

Boost your seven immune systems
Chlorophyll- nature's green wonder food
Olive Leaf Extract - For Winter Ills and Much More
Red Raspberry eases pregnancy
Siberian Ginseng

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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