The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), through its Botanical Authentication Program, has added grapefruit seed extract (GFSE) to its Guidance Policy of Known Adulterants and identified known potential adulterating agents to include the synthetic quaternary ammonium salts benzalkonium chloride and benzethonium chloride, and triclosan, methyl paraben, or any other synthetic antimicrobial agent. The action came during the AHPA board of trustees' July meeting.
"While there are bioflavonoid-rich products known to be actual extracts of grapefruit, numerous published reports have clearly shown that some products labeled as GFSE instead contained various antimicrobial agents not approved for internal use," said AHPA Chief Science Officer Steven Dentali, Ph.D. "AHPA has addressed this issue on three previous occasions by reporting on peer-reviewed scientific articles in the AHPA Report in July 2005, September 2005, and June 2006 and added to this literature via a published research study.
"Simple tools of chromatographic fingerprinting, or other appropriate scientifically valid techniques, can easily differentiate a genuine article from synthetic adulterants in this case," he added. "AHPA will now work promptly to compile specific analytical methods relevant to identification of GFSE and to make that information available to industry."
AHPA's Botanical Authentication Program consists of three components: identification of known adulterants; information on analytical methods that can be used to ensure botanical identity; and training for quality control personnel, with hands-on seminars on microscopy and high-performance thin-layer chromatography.
Created in 1997, AHPA's Guidance on Known Adulterants identifies herbs and potential adulterants that are known to be in trade. The list identifies safety-related substitutions, such as Digitalis lanata leaf for plantain (Plantago lanceolata) leaf, and safety- and economic-based substitutions, such as red dye #2 (amaranth dye) for bilberry fruit extract.