Testing of bromelain products sold on Amazon finds that 80% of tested products failed to meet label claims

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Now continues its industry self-policing program with the testing of bromelain products sold on Amazon by unfamiliar brands.

Photo © iStockphoto.com/nicolas_

Photo © iStockphoto.com/nicolas_

NOW (Bloomingdale, IL) continues its industry self-policing program ­– in which the company tests unfamiliar brands sold on Amazon – with the testing of bromelain products. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple that supports digestive and joint health. Its activity is commonly measured in Gelatin Digesting Units, which measures bromelain’s ability to break down a gelatin solution. The GDU activity was determine using the U.S. Pharmacopeia method for bromelain, and the tests were conducted by an independent laboratory that specializes in enzyme testing: Venture Labs, in Lexington, KY.

Results of NOW's testing, provided by NOW.

Results of NOW's testing, provided by NOW.

“We chose bromelain because raw material costs increased in recent years and we guessed that some suppliers or brands may knowingly, or unknowingly, be selling low potency products,” said Dan Richard, NOW’s vice president of global sales and marketing, in a press release. Richard has been spearheading this Amazon testing program since its beginning in 2017. “Bromelain is a fairly expensive enzyme and testing is more difficult than other basic vitamins and minerals. We assumed that most lower-priced, lessor-known brands do not test for Bromelain potency at all, and the results below seem to confirm this educated guess.”

NOW purchased 19 bromelain supplements on Amazon for testing, and also had its own capsule product tested, to verify label claims and potencies. Results showed that 15 out of 20 of the products tested failed to meet label claims for potency, with only six out of the 20 samples containing over 50% of the labeled potency. Twelve of the products even contained less than 10% of label claims. Only four of the products exceeded 100% of their labeled potency, with Now’s product being one of them, at 121%.

“NOW has been testing products sold by lesser-known brands for six years and consistently finds most suspect products failing potency testing,” Richard explained. “We have been testing products exclusively found on Amazon, but will begin adding unknown brands found on Walmart.com in the future. We are finding that low potency products often spend the most dollars marketing on both Amazon and Walmart.com.”

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