The Capsule Quality Question: Understanding Certificates of Analysis, Data Sheets, and Religious Certifications
As consumers, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly where products are coming from or how exactly they are made. Many consumers are especially concerned about the quality of the ingredients and components that make up the items they consume, whether it’s their food, drinks, supplements, or medications. Many are savvy consumers who see warnings about the quality of off the shelf vitamins and supplements and turn to encapsulating to be certain that they know exactly what they are consuming.
Regardless of the reasons, understanding the common certifications and data sheets used to regulate the quality of ingredients can help consumers make better choices. These certifications and data sheets can help consumers identify quality components and trusted brands.
And when it comes to capsules, certifications of analysis, religious certifications, and data sheets can help consumers avoid low-quality capsules (some of which can contain dangerous ingredients).
Certificates of Analysis
Certificates of analysis are typically conducted by a third party and verify the physical make up of the product. Some certifications test for what is in the product while others look for the lack of a substance (usually harmful substances).
One certification that should be of interest to all consumers of gelatin capsules is a certificate of BSE, TSE, and Prion Free. Vegetarian capsules, because they contain no animal products, do not need this certification but should be certified free of animal ingredients.
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and prion diseases are a family of progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) – or “mad cow disease” – is also a form of TSE progressive neurodegenerative disorders. To receive a BSE, TSE, and Prion Free certification the product tested needs to contain no TSE, BSE, or other Prions.
Another specific type of certificate of analysis is a Composition Certification. This type of certification documents all of the ingredients used in the manufacture of the product. This allows for the greatest degree of transparency and ensures consumers know what they are consuming. Examples of these certificates follow:
|BSE TSE and Prion Free Certificate||BSE TSE and Prion Free Certificate|
|Composition Certificate||Composition Certificate|
There are two major religious certifications that consumers should be aware of; Halal and Kosher.
Halal certification means that the food, or in this case capsule, has been prepared according to Islamic law. It certifies that the product is free of pork products, alcohol, and certain other ingredients. Halal certification also means that the product has been processed and manufactured using utensils and equipment that have been cleansed according to Islamic law.
The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America define Halal certification as, “the process of having a qualified independent third party supervise the production of consumables, attesting that they were produced in conformity with the preparation and ingredient standards of the halal lifestyle.”
Kosher certification similarly prescribes certain measures to ensure the cleanliness, purity, and quality of the product. Our products have been certified Kosher by KOF-K. From their website, “Only those products and services meeting the strictest standards of kashrus (kosher law) are granted permission to display the KOF-F K symbol… When consumers see the KOF-K kosher symbol on a product, they know they are buying food that has been certified to meet the highest standards of kashrus.” Examples of Kosher and Halal certificates follow:
|Halal Certificate||Halal Certificate|
|Kosher Certificate||Kosher Certificate|
Data sheets are invaluable for consumers who want to know as much information about a product as possible. Data sheets, or spec sheets, summarize the performance and/or technical characteristics of a product. The two types of data sheets we provide for our products are material safety data sheets (MSDS) and technical data sheets.
Material safety data sheets provide information on:
- Product Identification
- Hazardous Ingredients (s)
- Physical Data
- Fire and Explosion Hazard Data
- Health Hazard Data
- Emergency First Aid Procedures
- Personal Protection
- Storage and Handling
- Disposal Consideration
Even for categories where there is no specific information that is pertinent to the product (like Health Hazard Data) the data sheet specifically calls out the lack of data so that there is no room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
Technical data sheets, on the other hand, lay out all of the technical data that relates to the product. From weight to shipping standards, this type of data sheet contains specific technical data. The image to the right is an example of the type of data that is included in a technical data sheet. Examples of MSDS and Technical Data Sheets follow:
|Material Data Safety Sheet||Material Data Safety Sheet|
|Technical Data Sheet||Technical Data Sheet|
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