Organoleptic Analysis of Herbal Ingredients, a new guidance document from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), is available for download from the AHPA online bookstore.
This new guidance document is intended to provide useful information for companies that want to use sensory analysis for identifying herbal ingredients. The document is free to AHPA members; non-member cost is $249.
The 37-page document, primarily written by members of AHPA's Standards and Botanical Raw Materials committees, with Steven Dentali, Ph.D., AHPA's chief science officer, as the managing editor, will assist with botanical ingredient identification by organoleptic analysis, a process of developing familiarity with herbal articles of commerce by creating and using descriptions of sensory experience that can be employed for identification of new lots of the same materials. Organoleptic evaluations characterize sense impressions that include sight, smell, taste, and texture experiences.
The topics covered in this document are conducting organoleptic analyses and characteristics subject to organolepsis, which include appearance, fracture, texture, aroma, taste, and mouth feel. The appendices include Considerations in Sensory Evaluation and Organoleptic Analyses, a working group report on conducting actual analyses and the results of eight such tests.
"Organolepsis can be a scientifically valid tool in its own right, and its use may also be employed to differentiate different grades of material," said Dr. Dentali, an authority on botanical authentication. "It is anticipated that this guidance may eventually be accompanied by examples of organoleptic evaluations from classic texts for comparison purposes. It may also be valuable for individuals or companies to submit their determinations of organoleptic evaluations for botanical marketplace materials in a shared database such as AHPA's herbal identification database currently known as the Botanical Authentication Wiki."
The document was developed to provide a practical aid and general guide for companies implementing organoleptic characterization for the identification of botanical materials. The procedures used can also be applied to incorporating organoleptic analysis into quality assurance programs.
"Producing quality herbal products is challenging and, as federal law requires, all ingredients in herbal supplements must be accurately identified. This guidance is a useful addition to the regulatory-compliance tools AHPA already provides to assist the industry with herbal and botanical identification," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin.