Starwest Botanicals Laboratory Testing
At Starwest, Quality is our first priority. We have made a commitment to continued excellence in product quality. To maintain our desired level of quality, we begin with the knowledge and experience of our raw material suppliers and farmers, continuing through the production process, and ultimately to the shipment and delivery of finished goods to our customers. The standards and procedures we have implemented in our quality assurance system guarantee that our requirements for our products and services are adhered to.
In-House Quality Control Laboratory
Starwest maintains a modern, in-house laboratory staffed by experienced professionals. We provide a complete product analysis, quickly and efficiently, with validated analytical procedures and state of the art equipment.
Our validated quality assurance testing includes:
• Organoleptic testing to ensure proper appearance, color, aroma and flavor.
• Microscopic and Macroscopic inspection for foreign matter.
• HPTLC for identification, to verify purity and authenticity.
• ICP-MS heavy metal analysis.
• Microbiology testing for pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella.
• Chemical analyses for moisture content, volatile oil, ash and acid insoluble ash.
High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC)
In compliance with cGMPs, Starwest currently uses HPTLC testing to accurately determine product identity and purity. By quantifying or comparing the distribution patterns of marker compounds in different solvent systems (unique to each plant and class of actives) against our proprietary Botanical Reference library, our laboratory personnel can confidently and accurately verify product identity and identify known adulterates.
Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
ICP-MS offers a very sensitive, specific and reproducible way to determine heavy metal concentration in a wide variety of products. It can identify and quantify each metallic impurity with high sensitivity; and, can be used to test for the entire Periodic Table in one analysis. ICP detection limits for most elements are in the part-per-billion (ppb) range
GFSI and cGMP Compliant
Starwest complies with the Global Standard for Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is regularly audited and certified by an independent, third party organization. GFSI was established to ensure confidence in the delivery of safer food to businesses and consumers, while continuing to improve food safety throughout the supply chain. These global standards often go above and beyond regulations. We are committed to the continuous improvement of food safety management systems to ensure the delivery of safe food and products to all of our customers.
Starwest complies with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), with protocols firmly in place for the documentation and validation of our quality control system to ensure compliance with all relevant food safety regulations, including following Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-compliant manufacturing protocols.
We have a full allergen prevention program and have implemented tight controls in our manufacturing processes to prevent cross-contamination of our products with allergens.
More information about our testing:
1. Macroscopic: Evaluation of a sampled product based upon inspection of the products visual characteristics - texture, size, etc.
2. Microscopic: Evaluation of a sampled product based upon visual inspection, with the aid of a high powered microscope, of cells, cell walls, cell structure and characteristics, etc.
3. HPTLC: Stands for High Performance Thin Layer Chromatograph. This is an essential tool to accurately determine product identity and purity. By quantifying or comparing the distribution patterns of marker compounds in different solvent systems (unique to each plant and class of actives) against our proprietary Botanical Reference library, our laboratory personnel can verify product identity and identify known adulterates.
4. HPLC: Stands for High Pressure (Performance) Liquid Chromatography. This test provides verification of product identity as well as quantitative determination of active constituents when tested against a reference standard.
5. GC: Stands for Gas Chromatography. This test provides verification of product identity as well as quantitative determination of active constituents when tested against a reference standard.
1. Appearance: Samples of each product are evaluated based upon their general appearance and uniformity and are compared, to ensure conformance, to a known standard.
2. Color: Used to identify products based upon conformance, of color, to a known standard.
3. Aroma: Used to identify products based upon conformance, of aroma, to a known standard.
4. Flavor: Used to identify products based upon conformance, of flavor, to a known standard.
1. Particle Size: A sieve analysis is used to measure the total particle size distribution of a prepared sample. Whether the product is in the form of a powder, cut and sifted, or tea bag cut, particle size analysis can help a customer judge whether a product is suitable for their application.
2. Foreign Organic Matter: Measures the amount of a prepared sample that is of a foreign organic nature. This is a measurement of the purity of the product and, thus, the quality of the product.
3. Foreign Inorganic Matter: Measures the amount of a prepared sample that is of a foreign inorganic nature. This is a measurement of the purity of the product and, thus, the quality of the product.
4. Tapped Density: Measures the density of a prepared sample (g/ml). This test can help one discern packaging or encapsulation requirements.
1. Moisture Content: Measures the amount of volatile matter (water) driven off of a prepared sample under specified conditions. Elevated moisture content can increase the likelihood of microbial growth.
2. Steam Volatile Oil: Measures the amount of water insoluble steam volatile oil present in a prepared sample. In many products, volatile oil is an indication of product quality.
3. Total Ash: Measures the amount of carbon-free ash present in a prepared sample. This test can give an indication of the quality and purity of a product, as all organic material will burn off leaving dirt, silica, etc.
4. Acid Insoluble Ash: This test measures, after total ash, the amount of acid insoluble ash present in a prepared sample. This test gives an indication of the quality and purity of a product.
5. Heavy Metals: This test measures metallic impurities in a prepared product sample. No product may exceed the tolerances that have been set for each specific metal.
6. Pesticides: This test measures the amount of pesticide residue that a prepared sample contains. No product may exceed the tolerances that have been set for each specific pesticide.
1. Total Aerobic Plate Count: This test allows for the detection and enumeration of aerobic microorganisms. This test gives an indication of the cleanliness of a product microbiologically.
2. Yeast and Mold: This test allows for detection and enumeration of yeast and mold microorganisms. This test gives an indication of the cleanliness of a product microbiologically.
3. Coliform: This test allows for detection and enumeration of Coliform.
4. E. Coli: This test allows for detection and enumeration of E. Coli bacteria.
5. Salmonella SPP.: This test allows for detection and enumeration of Salmonella Bacteria.
Please note that some of the above tests are only performed as needed and not on every item we process. For more information about a particular test or item, please contact us.