Testing in Every Step
Quality is always our first priority, and we insist on the highest quality at all cost. We have at times rejected products and ingredients that are not up to our standards, even though it can means increased production cost or time.
For example, in 2009, we rejected 2 tons of herb powders because the supplier did not follow our specified procedures and had already ground the raw herbs to powders before our inspection. Herbs must be in their original raw form to differentiate top-grade herbs from lower-grade herbs.
Single Herb Screening
Every single raw herb to be used in our formulas is identified and screened through multiple tests before processing. TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography) and HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) are used to confirm identity, ensure potency and test for active constituents when necessary. The manufacturer is not allowed to proceed until we release our approval.
To maximize their effectiveness in each formula, we specify in detail the method for processing, grinding, as well as the mixing ratio for each herb in our formulas. Our QA team in China monitors every step of the production process to ensure that the manufacturer’s compliance is to our specifications.
Finished products are sanitized to strict standards. Every batch of finished product is tested on moisture content, dissolution, heavy metals, pesticide residue and microbial content. The manufacturer is not allowed to package the products until we have checked the test results and sent our approval.
Regularly, samples of finished products are sent to independent laboratories to verify the manufacturer’s testing data. Sophisticated analyses, such as the Aristolochic Acid Test and the Chloramphenicol Testing, are conducted when needed.
Every batch of finished products is inspected by the CCIB (China Commodity Inspection Bureau) for the phytosanitary certificate. This certifies that the plants or plant products have been inspected according to appropriate procedures and are considered to be free from quarantine pests and other injurious pests, and that they conform with the current phytosanitary regulations of the importing country (USA).
The US government has stringent standards for importing herbal products. Two organizations under the USDA, the USFW (US Fish & Wildlife) and NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) enforce that all products derived from and containing derivatives of species listed in the ESA (1973 US Endangered Species acts) are prohibited from importation and interstate trade. Imported herbal ingredients are inspected by USA government agencies at the border. Strict bans and/or restrictions are placed on any herbs that are considered poisonous, unfit for human consumption, contain aristolochic acid or ephedrine alkaloids, and anything on the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Receiving Inspection and Testing
At receiving, our experienced QA team in the USA carefully inspects all products, ingredients, testing data and paperwork, to look for any deviations from our specifications and to ensure that our high standards are never compromised. Additional laboratory testing is performed on randomly on received ingredients to verify that the results match the manufacturers' testing data.
Product Release Testing
A release lab test is performed on each batch of product that we manufacture in USA. Before releasing a batch of product for sales, our QA team in the USA carefully inspects the product, testing data and paperwork to ensure everything meets all of our high standards.