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Now Foods has begun using the RiboPrinter DNA-fingerprinting system from Dupont to help verify the identity and purity of its probiotic ingredients.
Dietary supplements manufacturer Now Foods (Bloomingdale, IL) has begun testing its probiotic ingredients with DNA-fingerprinting technology to help verify the identity and purity of its products. Now Foods has augmented its existing testing capabilities with the newly installed RiboPrinter system, DNA-testing equipment from Dupont (Wilmington, DE) that’s able to identify specific bacterial strains and unknown microorganisms.
DNA testing of dietary supplement products has aroused plenty of controversy in recent years, stemming in large part from New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s much-publicized investigation into supposedly mislabeled herbal supplement products. Many industry experts criticized Schneiderman’s use of the technique, suggesting it was inappropriately applied to finished supplement products instead of raw ingredient materials.
However, Now Foods says the use of DNA fingerprinting in microbial testing has been “well established in sterile manufacturing or food processing plants, and in hospitals.” The firm says it is the first supplement brand to have DNA-testing equipment in-house.
“Each specific strain is verified on our RiboPrinter against a database of documented strains to assure safety and efficacy,” said Rick Sharpee, PhD, Now’s director of science and nutrition. “Now’s microbial testing capabilities have always been among the best in class, but this takes us to a new level.”
In addition to the new testing technology, Now Foods says it will also be placing a special logo on its bottles of DNA-tested probiotics to show the strain has been verified.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine