Turmeric Case Study Proposes Testing Strategy

Spring, TX—The Global Curcumin Association (GCA) has announced the publication in Food Chemistry of a study considering analytical strategies to determine the labeling accuracy and adulteration of turmeric supplements.

“Our recent GCA testing, confirmed by others, has determined that some products on the market are adulterated or lack adequate levels of active ingredients,” said Len Monheit, Executive Director, GCA, in a press release. “Turmeric is an ingredient with ample scientific evidence for health benefits, but if we lose consumer faith and trust, it will impact all companies in this market—bad actors as well as fully compliant organizations. For this reason, we are emphatic that better tools are needed for both brands and contract manufacturers, and while our initial findings changed sourcing practices and supply chain partners, more change and quality control is needed.”

The paper was co-authored with Beta Analytic and Eurofins, two independent testing laboratories. It reports on GCA’s previous turmeric product testing, and proposes an overall approach in testing strategy.

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The findings indicate that an orthogonal turmeric quality control approach is preferred, one that uses carbon-14 measurements (a means to distinguish natural from synthetic curcumin) and curcuminoid content determination by high-performance liquid chromatography with detection in the visible range (HPLC-Vis) together. Performing this testing and ensuring the purity and then the label accuracy of a product will help improve and verify the quality of turmeric supplements.

“This work has been in process for many months and was written with input from the American Botanical Council (ABC) and the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP), both of which GCA actively supports,” adds Monheit. “Our goal is to steward growth and strengthen the category by communicating quality control strategies.”

GCA is a non-profit trade association stewarding the global curcumin/turmeric market.

The full study is available here.