Across the Nutra-verse: Tackling Saw Palmetto adulteration, promoting Thai herbs, and more

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / denphumi
© Getty Images / denphumi
A lot has happened over the past seven days: Stay on top of the global nutra-news with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


New Saw Palmetto Berry extract lab guidance document published

Poor harvests over several years have led to prices rises for Saw Palmetto extracts, and this has led to adulteration becoming more commonplace, according to the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP). The Program has now published a Laboratory Guidance Document (LGD) to help industry stakeholders better identify adulterants.

The new LGP, which reviews 34 analytical methods, on Saw palmetto was written by Stefan Gafner, PhD, chief science officer of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and technical director of BAPP.

“Complete substitution of saw palmetto with vegetable oils is readily detected by organoleptic and chemical assays,” ​said Dr Gafner. “However, fraudulent suppliers have become increasingly sophisticated in producing low-cost materials that are chemically similar to authentic saw palmetto. Therefore, a set of methods is now needed to determine if an extract labeled to be saw palmetto is actually authentic.”

The LGD evaluates the usefulness of the different analytical methods to detect saw palmetto berry and berry extract adulteration, and it summarizes the main advantages and disadvantages of each method regarding suitability for use in a quality control laboratory.

For more on this, please click HERE​.


Belgium recalls fat-burner supplement over high caffeine concerns

Belgium’s Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) has issued a recall for the Phedra Cut Lipo XT Fat Burner (60 tablets) by Ultimate Sports Nutrition (USN) after checks found the product’s caffeine content to be in excess of that labeled.

FASFC ordered that bottles be taken off the shelves of the distributor, Charleroi -based sports equipment shop Intersport Gosselies.

“The company has decided in consultation with the FASFC to remove the following product from the sale and recall it from the consumer,”​ FASFC recall notice states.

For more on this story, please click HERE​.


Thai agencies work together to promoting Thai herbs globally

Curcumin turmeric © Getty Images sommail
© Getty Images / sommail

Thailand’s Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion and the Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine Department have signed an agreement to promote Thai herbal products to the global markets.

The move was backed by the nation’s deputy PM and health minister, Anutin Chanvirakul. Between 2016 and 2018, the economic value created by Thai herbs increased from USD$5bn (THB$180bn) to $9bn (THB$280bn), while the export value of Thai herbs reached $72m (THB$2.24bn). Turmeric was the most popular herb.

By the end of the first phase of Thai Herbal Development in 2021, the country aims to have increased the economic value of Thai herbs to $11bn (THB$360bn).

The Thai FDA will also play a part by expediting the registration of health products, according to a report on NutraIngredients-Asia​.

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