In today’s world we read a lot about supplements being fake, adulterated, counterfeited & this is a serious concern in the interest of public healthcare. It is thus important that there is awareness created by the experts & advocates of the subject matter, making every consumer aware of what they choose to consume.
When it comes to supplements, nutraceuticals or nutritional products which are to be consumed by the population, authenticity is of prime importance and providing Clean, Safe & Quality supplement is responsibility of the Brands as well as the Manufacturers.
What to look for while buying the health supplements or nutraceutical products?
1. Check for the License Number:
If the health supplements or nutraceutical products are imported or manufactured locally it is mandate to have a license number which ensures that the manufacturer has complied with the applicable rules & regulations set forth with the License number clearly mentioned on the label
2. Check for the Seal:
In case of health supplements in a bottle pack, check for the seal on the inner side of the lid. The seal should be uniformly attached to the bottle. In case of protein supplements alternatively one should choose single dose sachet products where there is no scope of seal breaking & adulteration.
3. Check for Barcode & QR Codes:
The barcode is for right commercial information of the nutraceutical product. Additionally certain products also bear a QR code which is linked to specific URL giving more insights about the product. The consumers can look for specific QR codes which provides more details and keep the consumers away from the fake nutraceutical and health supplements.
4. Check for Certifications:
There are various Global Certifications available for health supplement products or nutraceutical products which signifies that they are worthy of its standards like Informed Sports, NSF, Labdoor Certifications and such. These are apex certifications with strict compliances for defining the best quality products. For eg. Informed Sports tests every single batch of the product that is manufactured for absence of banned substance as per the list of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) before being released to the market.
5. Check for the Ingredients:
The genuine health products that we see in the market generally contain branded ingredients which are clinically & scientifically studied at a specific dosage. Generally these branded names will also be seen on the pack such as AstaReal® Astaxanthin, KSM 66® Ashwagandha, Megashine-O® Flaxseed Oil, Aquamin® Magnesium, BioSolve™ Curcumin, EVNol Suprabio™ Tocotrienol and such others.
6. Check for Counterfeiting:
With the rise in demand for supplements in the market and with so much ambiguity about fake supplements, the problem of counterfeiting is also increasing. There are anti-counterfeiting solutions available to protect the supplement from the damage of counterfeiting. One such solution is NeuroTags. In this, the algorithmically coupled crypto tags are to be affixed on the product packaging & are linked to AI on the server that holds the authenticity information. The tags are connected, monitored and protected by algorithms and AI on the server in such a way that if anyone tries to replicate the tags, it gets tracked and the copied product tags get invalidated.
Adulteration, a concern:
The growing demand for health and nutraceutical supplements in the market, has made them a target of adulteration with cheap, fake or duplicate substances. At present, adding inexpensive amino acids and amino acid derivatives to protein powder products to modify protein content has become a common adulteration method.
There are a few tips to check if the supplements are fake or genuine protein supplements:
- Mixibility: Fake protein powders do not uniformly mix with water.
- Texture: Generally in case of fake proteins, the texture of the powder is not smooth throughout
- Taste: fake protein powders do not have the same taste throughout, they change from pack to pack.
- Packaging: All the right information of the product will be presented on the pack if it is genuine