The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has awarded a full complement of donated analytical laboratory equipment to Milford, Mass.-based International Chemistry Testing Inc. (ICT).
The equipment was donated to AHPA by Albert Leung, Ph.D., president and founder of Phyto-Technologies, in Woodbine, Iowa, which provides custom herbal product manufacture and development of Chinese herbal products for private-label distribution and specializes in herb research, including identification and characterization of Chinese herbs.
The donated equipment includes basic analytical equipment, including gas chromatograph, high-performance liquid chromatograph, and high-performance thin-layer chromatograph (HPTLC) systems, as well as spectrophotometers, balances, a rotary evaporator, fume hoods, workbenches, and more.
In exchange for the donation, ICT will donate 40 hours per month to chemistry-related projects initiated or defined by AHPA and the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals (AHPA-ERB Foundation). Those projects may include raw ingredient identification and authentication; analytical method development; testing for product shelf life, product safety, and product survey; training programs for graduate students sponsored by AHPA; joint publications; and joint grant applications.
ICT has proposed the initiation of an industry-wide collaborative research program that would address botanical authenticity, the standardization of bioactivity levels, and solutions to the lack of understanding of how chemical structures can influence the bioactivity of beneficial constituents.
ICT is an independent laboratory that provides chemistry testing for the life sciences, food and dietary supplements, and cosmetic, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. It specializes in phytochemistry and natural products chemistry, antioxidant and free radical chemistry, food chemistry, cosmetic chemistry, formulation chemistry and analytical chemistry. Phytochemical reference compounds and natural product raw ingredient authentication are also part of the portfolio of its services. Boxin Ou, Ph.D., and Tony Chang, Ph.D., are the owners of ICT.
"AHPA is grateful to Phyto-Technologies and Dr. Leung for the opportunity to serve as the facilitator for the donation of this valuable equipment. Drs. Ou and Chang have been at the forefront of natural products research for more than a decade and are acutely aware of the confusion that exists in the industry when trying to choose the most accurate analyses for quantifying the level of an active ingredient or whether that ingredient has health functionality," said AHPA Chief Scientist Steven Dentali, Ph.D. "They are committed to working with AHPA to promote good science, which will ultimately serve AHPA, its member companies, the AHPA-ERB Foundation, and the industry at large."
"This acquisition will enhance our capabilities in pharmacognosy to better address the current issues in the natural products industry, including in the areas of authenticity, standardization, and efficacy," said Ou. "We intend to establish an open platform at ICT to serve the needs of the AHPA consortium for advanced phytochemical research."