New verification program combines next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and NSF International’s database of validated DNA reference sequences to accurately identify raw botanical ingredients

ANN ARBOR, Mich.– For the first time, dietary supplement ingredient suppliers can use an on-label, NSF DNA Authenticated™ mark to verify the identity and purity of raw ingredients. NSF International recently launched its new, independent testing protocol and verification program for raw botanical ingredients used in the dietary supplement industry.

In addition to DNA authentication of the target species, the testing program also screens for contamination, including common adulterants, toxic adulterants, allergens and fillers. DNA Authenticated™ verification requires next-generation sequencing (NGS) DNA testing of every lot or batch that bears the mark. Suppliers can provide DNA Authenticated™ certificates and use the verification mark on shipments of verified ingredients.

“With complex global supply chains and fraudulent ingredients popping up in unexpected places, DNA authentication of raw ingredients is a prudent step for supplement manufacturers who are concerned about the quality and purity of products,” said Jesse Miller, Ph.D., Director of Applied Research at NSF International. “With the new DNA Authenticated™ mark, manufacturers, suppliers and, ultimately, consumers can be absolutely sure the ingredients they choose have been accurately identified.”

NSF International maintains a database of validated DNA reference sequences for all relevant botanical ingredient and adulterant species of plants, fungi and probiotic bacteria. Many of NSF International’s DNA reference sequences have been obtained as herbarium specimens through partnerships with top institutions such as Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Miller was recently appointed to lead NSF AuthenTechnologies®, the team that is testing and certifying ingredients to the DNA Authenticated™ protocol. Under Dr. Miller’s leadership, NSF AuthenTechnologies® is expanding the range of services it provides and re-engineering many of its testing, customer service and reporting processes. “Alignment with our scientific processes and innovation is essential, as are customer service and convenience. We’re working to make it easy for customers to use NSF AuthenTechnologies® services,” Dr. Miller said.

In addition to DNA authentication of botanical ingredients, NSF International also tests and certifies dietary supplement products and ingredients to the only American National Standard for dietary supplements (NSF/ANSI 173). More than 1,000 products and ingredients are certified to NSF/ANSI 173. An additional level of testing and certification is also available for sports supplements. Products that earn NSF’s Certified for Sport® certification are independently tested on a lot-by-lot basis for more than 270 athletic banned substances.

NSF International is an independent, global organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, dietary supplements and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. With operations in more than 170 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. NSF International wrote the only American National Standard (NSF/ANSI 173) that verifies the health and safety of dietary supplements and also tests and certifies products to this standard.