Laboratory tests are conducted during each critical stage of manufacture and packaging of PhysioLogics® products. Testing these representative samples of both raw materials and finished products throughout the manufacturing process ensures the authenticity, consistency and quality of ingredients. Additional tests used to validate the purity of PhysioLogics® products include:
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
This test can analyze the individual ingredients in a mixture. A dissolved, liquid sample is placed in the unit, and the mixture separates into its different components. The amount of each component in the mixture can be measured down to parts per million. Analyzing the HPLC plots can verify the ingredient ratios in a mixture, or identify the purity and potency of a raw material. For example, liquid chromatography can measure the proanthocyanidin content in grape seed or the percentage of ginkgo flavonglycosides in ginkgo biloba.
Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
This test validates the authenticity and purity of a sample. A beam of infrared light is passed through a sample. The sample absorbs energy from the beam at certain frequencies. The frequencies are charted, revealing an absorption spectrum. No two herbs or compounds have the exact same absorption spectrum, so by comparing these charts to existing charts, we can positively identify the herb. This test also can tell us exactly the potency of a particular sample of ginkgo compared to another batch that, while looking the same may not be as potent.
A sample is dissolved in water or alcohol, and a beam of ultraviolet or visible light is passed through the sample solution. The sample absorbs energy from the beam at characteristic frequencies, and the response is recorded, much like the FTIR instrument. While not as specific as FTIR, this technique can identify many herbs which have unique absorbency characteristics.
Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry (ICP)
A sample of raw material or finished product is dissolved in acid and sprayed into the middle of a flame burning at an extremely high temperature. Inside the flame, the different elements glow with their own unique colors. A highly sensitive meter graphs the brightness and color of each constituent in the flame and measures, to parts per million, the amount of each constituent present in the sample.