Over the last few years, there has been a fundamental shift in what consumers are looking for in the products they consume. Certain things like sustainability for botanical ingredients are expected. Now, consumers want to take a deep dive and understand the breadth of their products, even going as far as tracing the ingredients to the source. Traceability through a botanical paper trail is in, and with this brings the opportunity to outline what botanical integrity means.
Botanical integrity coincides with quality botanical ingredients and can be viewed as the identity, purity, potency, and safety of botanical ingredients. According to the National Library of Medicine, the concept of botanical integrity combines disparate aspects of defining and assessing plant-derived materials and products for human consumption1:
- Identity (correct plant species and plant part)
- Homogeneity (absence of contaminations by other species and chemicals, often called “purity” but different than the regulatory use of that term)
- Biological potency (the presence of bioactive principles in desired amounts; a prerequisite for in vivo efficacy)
- Safety (an adequate toxicological profile)
At Verdure Sciences®, we understand that the scope of botanical integrity can go past human consumption and be applied to various functional applications such as personal care, nutraceuticals, animal health, and nutrition and fortification.
Botanical Integrity Through Quality Assurance And Collaboration
Botanical integrity combines several areas of expertise, including third-party botanical examinations, certifications, phytochemical analyses, and safety assessments. These areas of expertise help to identify the correct plant species and parts, validate the absence of contaminations in a botanical ingredient, confirm the presence of bioactives and phytonutrients in desired quantities, and provide a sufficient toxicological profile. We believe botanical integrity can also be attributed to the education and awareness of botanical ingredients and their uses through our collaborative efforts with key industry stakeholders.
Since our inception, Verdure Sciences® has worked diligently through our partnerships with key industry organizations that are designed and dedicated to advocating for botanical integrity through these various areas of expertise, including but not limited to:
- American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
- United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA)
- Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP)
- American Botanical Council (ABC)
- Alkemist Labs
- Offers consumer-friendly Certificate of Analysis (COA) services with an aim to promote transparency through identity, purity, and potency of botanicals
How Does Verdure Sciences® Uphold Botanical Integrity?
In an industry where the risk of adulteration is prominent for popular botanical ingredients, we believe in the importance of integrating botanical and chemical identity and biological analyses to provide a better understanding into the identity, homogeneity, potency, and safety of our botanical ingredients. As we begin to see a merger between clean-label botanical ingredients with various product applications like functional foods, beverages and nutraceuticals, our goal is to be able to provide quality botanical ingredients backed by botanical integrity to assure a consistent, trusted ingredient.
In addition to understanding the botanical composition of our ingredients, Verdure Sciences® encompasses transparent sourcing, sustainability, and traceability throughout our value chain. Verdugration®, our internal program for sustainability, traceability, social impact, and transparent global stewardship encapsulates what botanical integrity means for Verdure Sciences® and serves as a beacon to deliver these transparent messages to our customers with a specific focus on our plants, ingredients, environment, and processes. Not only does this program foster trust and rapport between us and our customers, but also showcases our efforts of integrating botanical integrity in every aspect of our business, from quality assurance through third-party certifications and responsible and ethical sourcing for a transparent supply chain, to furthering the knowledge of botanical ingredients through long-standing collaborations.
Kristen Marshall, Digital Marketing Manager at Verdure Sciences® shares, “While Verdure has always held botanical integrity, sustainability, traceability, and transparency as key pillars of business, we are now sharing these messages in a more meaningful way for our customers through Verdugration®”