Botanical identity testing is a challenging activity and requires specialized knowledge and skills. Botanicals’ are complex as they contain hundreds if not thousands of different molecules, so testing is unlike that of other ingredients or substances such as pharmaceuticals. Our comprehensive proprietary three-step program for performing botanical identification consists of both regulatory and analytical testing to meet Health Canada’s identity testing requirements.
Use of high magnification and special light or staining techniques to examine for characteristics established for the ingredient. These examinations are compared to authenticated or in-house reference materials and/or authoritative technical descriptions.
Chemical identification techniques include methods such as Chromatography (HPTLC, HPLC, UPLC, LCMS/MS, GC), Spectrometry (UV VIS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Our lab uses these techniques, to analyze the botanical ingredients containing known chemical/analytical markers and ingredients that are standardized to active constituents.
Microscopic and chemical identification techniques are not enough to differentiate closely related species. With the increasing demand from the regulators it is essential that companies look beyond traditional identification approach and build in appropriate botanical identity program that includes the DNA Analysis as an integral part of the Quality Management System. The key for DNA-bases species authentication is the difference between DNA sequences between species. Specifically, this is determined by denaturing target material’s DNA and further amplifying through PCR based reaction.