NSF International, a non-profit, non-governmental organization and world leader in standards development and product certification, presented Nature's Sunshine with the NSF Good Manufacturing Certification.
NSF is a leading, third-party auditor of companies involved in the health and public safety sectors. Their certification of our manufacturing facility means we passed an extensive audit by NSF staff, including an examination of production equipment and a thorough evaluation of our policies and procedures and our manufacturing processes.
Quality - The Key to Purity and Potency
Many people want to know if our ingredients are organic. Organic is a good standard, but Nature's Sunshine goes beyond organic with detailed testing on each and every raw ingredient used in every Nature's Sunshine Product (NSP).
The focus is on purity (unadulterated raw materials), full potency, and safety (bacterial, heavy metal, radiation, chemical contamination and more). The raw materials and the finished products undergo more testing than other companies even consider.
There are 588 tests used to guarantee the quality standards that NSP insists on. A few of the main tests are: Ash testing, Gamma counter, Dissolution testing, E. Coli testing, Microbiological testing, Heavy Metal testing, Microscopy, Infrared Spectometry, Moisture testing, pH testing, Potency testing, Tablet disintegration, Volatile oil, Environmental testing, Gas Chromotography, Total Bacteria testing, Liquid Chromotography, Acid insoluble testing, and Finished Product Auditing. Get detailed information in English PDF or Spanish PDF.
Does Quality Matter in Supplements?
Most people are not aware of any difference in getting a drugstore supplement or buying a natural food supplement. They will also tell you that they don't notice any difference when they take it (unless it makes them sick).
Supplements are used to "fill in" what you miss from your diet, so you should be using food-based supplements, not synthetic ones.
Nature's Sunshine Quality Control Process
This is the hallmark that separates Nature's Sunshine Products (NSP) from all other herb-based products offered by health food stores or other direct sales companies. No herbal product manufacturer in the country can surpass Nature's Sunshine when it comes to quality.
The Company buys raw materials from the most reputable suppliers in the world and Nature's Sunshine has state-of-the-art quality control equipment and procedures in the industry, which includes safeguards that allow them to scrutinize and analyze from the incoming shipment of raw materials to the end-line product. Because of this, Nature's Sunshine starts out with base ingredients and components of unquestionable quality.
Throughout the entire manufacturing process, NSP monitors the products' level of quality. This takes strict adherence to testing procedures, which requires a battery of costly, highly technical equipment. Nature's Sunshine has paid, and will continue to pay, the "price" for quality control. That's the only way they can be absolutely certain that every product leaving its facility reflects its "100% pure" philosophy.
Government regulations do not require Nature's Sunshine to be so strict or to set such uncompromisingly high standards. They choose to manufacture to pharmaceutical standards, which guarantees the potency and purity you expect from a health product.
The term "molecularly distilled" has been used by some brands for marketing purposes, so if you don't know what that means, it's a process that removes any contaminants such as heavy metals that are known to be found in fish oil. During this quality control process Nature's Sunshine can adjust the ratio of EPA:DHA. This process renders a higher quality fish oil and allows Nature's Sunshine to quantify the omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA) and be assured that the product is free of heavy metal and other contaminants. It's one of the many quality control practices from Nature's Sunshine Products.
Watch the video above to "take a tour" through the manufacturing process of quality control.
Steps Taken by Quality Control
1. Samples of each herb or raw material (purchased only from the most reputable suppliers in the world) are taken, using a statistical method to ensure that the sample reflects the entire lot.
2. Microscopes verify the identity of the powder on a cellular level. Each lot is also compared to previous samples.
3. Physical testing continues through a wide variety of tests, depending on the nature of the materials. Quality Control checks for foreign materials in the herb. Dirt, sand or other foreign inorganic material in the herb sample will not burn, and can be seen under the microscope.
4. Screen Analysis ascertains the particle sizes of raw materials in order to ensure uniformity of capsule weights.
5. After physical tests, raw materials are submitted for Chemical Testing. Some of the most important tests require the Liquid Chromatograph and the Gas Chromatograph. Coupled with a computer, the Liquid Chromatograph identifies the specific chemical components and active ingredients of a particular raw herb sample. The Gas Chromatograph makes it possible to test volatile oils and check for pesticide residues.
6. With the Direct Current Plasma Emission Spectrometer (DCP), materials can be tested for both toxic materials and beneficial minerals. Testing for microbiological cleanliness is also performed.
7. Samples of each batch of raw material are set aside in Retention Cabinets and are retained for up to 10 years for future reference and for shelf-life duration testing. Each batch is assigned its own individual lot number. These lot numbers are printed directly on the label of each product that are manufactured.
8. Post-Production Testing checks manufactured products for contamination of any kind during the production cycle, and to ensure that the end product is exactly as it should be. For instance, vitamin tablets are tested for hardness, disintegration and dissolution. Time-release products are assayed to ascertain the percentage of vitamins released over a given period of time.
Go here to find more information on quality related to essential oils.
What is NSP doing for research and development?
Every year the list of Nature's Sunshine products gets bigger and many of the existing products get better because of their ongoing emphasis on research and development. Comprised of botanists, biologists and chemists, the NSP Research & Development team keeps the product line new and exciting - a pacesetter for the industry.
An advanced, well-equipped research lab enables these scientists to explore new possibilities, assessing their feasibility and finally developing product prototypes. The equipment used for R&D purposes reflects the highest order of sophistication and state of the art technology.
You can be certain that any product you purchase from Nature's Sunshine will meet uniquely high standards for performance and excellence.