Valensa International announced today that its Parry Organic Spirulina Ingredient has been certified under the United States Pharmacopoeia Dietary Ingredient Verification Program (USP D-IVP) and that Parry Nutraceuticals has earned the authorization to use the USP Verified Mark on product labels and Certificates of Analysis (CofAs).
The USP Dietary Ingredient Verification Program is a rigorous, in-depth process involving auditing, product testing, document review and continuing surveillance activities; and covers compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations. As a part of the ingredient certification renewal process, Parry Organic Spirulina was also required to comply with the provisional USP monograph for spirulina that was issued for the first time in late 2011. As a result, Parry Organic Spirulina is the first—and currently only—spirulina product on the market that meets these quality assurance standards. With its continuing emphasis on the highest quality standards, Parry Organic Spirulina also meets California Prop 65 guidelines for metal content, allowing intake of more than 5 grams of spirulina per day—a big plus for a green food product.
According to Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, president and CEO of Valensa, participation in the USP Dietary Ingredient Verification Program is a part of an ongoing effort by Valensa and Parry Nutraceuticals to offer consumers and supplement retailers the highest quality and safest spirulina ingredient in the world. “We’re very proud to have made this investment in USP DIVP certification. The United States Pharmacopoeia is the global standard of product quality and safety and while the investment in these meeting their guidelines is substantial, we feel that consumer requirements for quality and safety assurance are growing and that we had to move to meet those needs—particularly for an ingredient like spirulina,” he said. “Unlike many dietary supplements, which are taken in milligram doses, many consumers use spirulina like a food—sometimes taking 5 grams or more per day. This makes it particularly important that we focus on quality and safety since even small amounts of impurities can have an impact. With some spirulina products in the marketplace, there is a concern over metals—particularly lead—which even when present at lower levels, can exceed California’s Proposition 65 standards when taken in multiple gram doses,” he said.
In addition to being USP DIVP certified, Parry Organic Spirulina is GRAS affirmed. It is certified by three major organic standards organizations: USDA NOP, Naturland (Germany), and Ecocert (France). To meet these standards, no synthetic chemicals or trace minerals—such as iron—are added in the spirulina cultivation process. Quality control includes ISO 22000 (Food Safety), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) certified by Bureau VERITAS. Parry Organic Spirulina is cultivated in a remote region of Southern India using pure artesian ground water. The facility is isolated from cities, farms and major water bodies—eliminating contamination due to pollution, pesticides, shellfish and metals.
World’s best spirulina nutrient profile
The new and updated Certificate of Analysis for Parry Organic Spirulina (with USP logo) will contain 32 parameters covered under product description, physical and chemical analysis, phyto-pigment analysis, fatty acid profile, microbial analysis, heavy metals and contaminants analysis. The key nutritional profile includes protein, phyto-pigment analysis (total carotenoids, beta-carotene, pure phycocyanin, chlorophyll A) and fatty acid profile (gamma linolenic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid).
Parry Organic Spirulina is carefully manufactured and processed to deliver the highest levels of phyto-pigments such as pure phycocyanin, carotenoids, beta-carotene and chlorophyll A. The company also has upgraded its packaging of Parry Organic Spirulina to ensure freshness and protection of phyto-nutrients during storage and transportation.
Brand insurance and lower compliance costs
According to Dr. Moerck, consumer product developers and retailers can look at Parry’s commitment to quality—as evidenced by this recent USP DIVP certification – as a form of ‘brand insurance’. “When it comes to natural foods, both product developers and retailers spend millions of dollars a year creating brands that their customers can trust and relate to. Part of that brand is a promise of safety and quality. At Valensa and Parry, we are very conscious of that promise and want to do everything we can to help our customers keep it. We know we can with Parry Organic Spirulina,” he said. “We also know that maintaining quality has a cost to our customers—particularly as they move to comply with their own cGMP. With this new USP DIVP certification, our customers can rely on our Certificates of Analysis and actually reduce their costs for testing and analysis—the best of both worlds,” Dr. Moerck added.