Start with the best
With more than 1,400 natural products, NOW’s success has hinged in part on our ability to source and secure the best quality raw materials. Our extensive in-house laboratory capabilities allow us to quickly evaluate the quality of the ingredients we receive. Other companies must rely on outside contract laboratories, which can be very costly and time consuming.
The strong, long-term relations we’ve developed with key suppliers give us unsurpassed purchasing power, and the bulk quantity price breaks we enjoy are passed on to our customers in the form of affordable everyday pricing.
From start to finish, NOW never compromises on ingredient taste, quality and safety.
Ingredients NOW won’t use
The following are ingredients you’ll never find in NOW® food products:
Alcohols: Some synthetic alcohols are produced from petroleum, and many have questionable safety. We use natural grain alcohol (ethanol) in our liquid extracts.
Chlorinated and Brominated Compounds: Chlorinated compounds, even organic chlorinated compounds, aren’t natural; these compounds are toxic and can be very dangerous to humans. PCBs and dioxins are two examples of chlorinated compounds. Sucralose is another chlorinated compound. Brominated vegetable oil is often used to help emulsify oils, like citrus oils. However, it can also lead to unhealthy accumulation of bromine in the body. We refuse to formulate any of our products with chlorinated or brominated compounds.
Excipients: NOW® does not use common mass market excipients. These include excipients such as hydrogenated oil, talc, Crospovidone, and Butylated Hydroxytoluene. While these excipients increase manufacturing efficiency and cost less than natural excipients, products containing them can no longer claim to be natural, and may adversely affect health. We choose to use more natural excipients, which are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Heavy Metals: Almost all botanicals contain trace amounts of heavy metals, which are naturally found in both soil and water. Although low levels of heavy metals are not considered to be a health hazard, larger amounts are known to be toxic to humans. NOW® tests all appropriate products to ensure that heavy metal levels are within nationally and globally recognized safe limits.
Hydrogenated Fats and Trans Fats: Hydrogenation is a chemical process where unsaturated fats (such as vegetable oil) are chemically modified to make them solidify better at room temperature. Artificial trans fats are a particular form of these chemically modified fats. These synthetic fats are unhealthy, and are associated with higher risk factors for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. NOW® does not use either hydrogenated or artificial trans fats in any of our products.
Irradiation: Irradiation is the exposure of an object or substance to radiation. In the food industry, irradiation is used to kill bacteria. However, there are side effects, since radiation can transform the natural components of herbs and botanicals into unnatural molecules. We perform thorough microbiological testing, as well as other sophisticated testing methods that can detect radiation signatures, and we reject any ingredients where gross exposure to radiation is detected.
Microbial Contamination: Many natural ingredients contain naturally occurring low levels of microbes. However, high microbial contamination, and the presence of pathogens and aflotoxins, aren’t natural and are potentially unsafe. Our in-house microbiology laboratory is staffed by trained professionals who perform comprehensive testing for the presence of microbial contamination.
Pesticide Residues: Pesticide screening is one of the many tests we perform on incoming raw materials; we’re able to detect even trace amounts of pesticides. Plant roots are tested because they are particularly susceptible to pesticide contamination. In certain natural products, fumigation and other treatments are required by law.
Other unacceptable ingredients
acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium)
acetylated esters of mono- and diglycerides
benzoates in food
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
brominated vegetable oil (BVO)
calcium disodium EDTA
cysteine (l-cysteine), as an additive for bread products
DATEM (Diacetyl tartaric and fatty acid esters of mono and diglycerides)
dimethylpolysiloxanedioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS)
disodium calcium EDTA
FD & C colors
disodium guanylate [derivative of guanosine monophosphate (GMP)]
hexa-, hepta- and octa-esters of sucrose
high fructose corn syrup
IMP (disodium inosinate)
lactylated esters of mono- and diglycerides
lead soldered cans
microparticularized whey protein derived fat substitute
monosodium glutamate (MSG)
partially hydrogenated oil
sodium aluminum sulfate
solvent extracted oils, as standalone single-ingredient oils (except grapeseed oil)
sulfites (except in wines, meads and ciders)
TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone)