Sabinsa Calls Out ‘Unscrupulous’ Misbranded Amla Products

With Vitamin C in high demand, some companies are taking advantage--and Sabinsa is taking action to stop the bad actors.

East Windsor, NJ—Sabinsa announced that it has identified mischaracterized amla (Emblica officinalis; aka Indian gooseberry) extract with claims of high levels of natural vitamin C for sale in the marketplace. The announcement explains: Because vitamin C occurs only in trace quantities in amla, it is not economically feasible to isolate and extract vitamin C up to 25% from that raw material. However, some companies are claiming to offer 25% weight for weight vitamin C derived from amla and further alleging their material is organic.

In addition to noting that alma contains only trace amounts, Sabinsa explained that research has shown that amla does not contain consistent amounts of ascorbic acid. Details can be found in research published by Sabinsa scientists on the low occurrence of vitamin C in amla products.

“The major source of vitamin C is through fermentation. If suppliers buy fermentation-derived vitamin C and blend it with their amla extract to claim as high as 25% w/w of vitamin C, they should disclose this,” said Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Founder and Chairman of Sabinsa, which offers Saberry Amla Extract brand, standardized to 10% beta-glucogallin. “This unethical practice is not easily detected by normal analytical methods for vitamin C analysis. It is also not distinguishable by C-14 radiocarbon content method, either. But there are other analytical methods to expose this repugnant practice.”

Sabinsa offers additional information on the fermentation process and its experiments designed to isolate vitamin C from an amla extract labeled as organic with 25% vitamin C here.

“Because we have the science and expertise to unravel this unscrupulous practice, tarnishing one of India’s beloved and cherished fruits will not be tolerated,” said Shaheen Majeed, Sabinsa President Worldwide. “We have identified a few companies practicing this deception, and will be filing notices to them in the weeks ahead. We hope the industry will appreciate and adopt the methodology we’ve disclosed, so no further deception occurs.”

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