Slideshow: NOW’s Testing Sets Us Apart

January 2, 2017
  • NOW's Quality Team

    NOW® Quality Control • Quality Assurance • Research & Development

    Did you know that NOW owns and operates one of the most advanced private laboratories in the natural products industry?

    Click through the slideshow to learn more about the cutting-edge technology NOW employs to guarantee the quality and purity of our products. 

  • DuPont Ribo Printer

    NOW is the only manufacturer in the natural products industry to currently own and operate the DuPont™ RiboPrinter® System, a cutting-edge automated molecular analytical method that brings speed, accuracy, reproducibility and reliability to the assessment of bacterial strains. NOW scientists utilize this instrument to guarantee the identity, potency, and purity of the bacterial strains used in our probiotic products, as well as to help identify potential bacterial contaminants in many raw materials prior to production.

  • Pesticide Testing

    Identifying and quantifying the presence of pesticides in incoming raw materials is one of our top priorities. We employ advanced triple quadrupole gas chromatograph-mass-spectrometer (GC/MS/MS) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) instruments and methods, which allow us to identify unknown components in raw material samples. This ensures that any undesirable components, such as pesticides, are below established safety limits.

  • Molecular Testing

    One of the more advanced molecular testing methods we use is the 3M Molecular Detection System (3M MDS). This technology utilizes isothermal DNA amplification and bioluminescence detection for fast and accurate detection of pathogens. With 3M MDS, NOW technicians have a cutting-edge pathogen detection system in their quality control arsenal.

  • Heavy Metals Testing

    NOW uses advanced inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICPMS) to detect abnormal levels of heavy metals, as well as to measure minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. We also utilize liquid chromatography (LC) in conjunction with ICPMS, which gives us the ability to perform arsenic speciation in-house. Arsenic is a heavy metal that occurs organically in nature, but its inorganic form can be harmful at high levels. LC and ICPMS allow our technicians to differentiate between toxic inorganic arsenic and non-toxic organic arsenic.

  • Research & Development

    NOW’s Research and Development team helps bring new product ideas from concept to reality. They help establish a manufacturing process that is consistent and reproducible, set machine parameters and speeds, ensure that ingredient mixes will flow well on our manufacturing equipment, and more. With an average of more than 40 new products annually, our R & D team is always busy.

  • Essential Oil Testing

    At NOW we go beyond industry-standard testing for essential oils. Gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GCFID) is the accepted method for establishing full profiles of analyzed volatile materials such as essential oils. We take it a step further by employing gas chromatography with flame ionization detection and mass spectrometry (GC-FID-MS). This allows us to perform the standard profile method with the FID and simultaneously gather more selective MS data, which allows us to analyze identifiable compounds for the purpose of identity verification, and to detect potential adulterants.

  • Residual Solvent Testing

    Detecting the presence of residual solvents is a complicated process, which NOW performs using three different procedures; static headspace extraction coupled with gas chromatographic separation and flame ionization detection (HSGC/ FID). Together, these three methods allow NOW technicians to accurately identify, quantify, and confirm the presence of USP Class 1 and Class 2 residual solvents in herbal formulations and extracts.

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography

    High performance liquid chromatographs, or HPLCs, are widely considered the “workhorses” of our Quality department. NOW owns and operates 24 of these sophisticated analytical instruments, which are used to perform a wide range of analyses on incoming raw materials. HPLCs allow scientists to identify and measure all of the individual components in a mixture.

  • QC Line Inspections

    NOW Quality Control Inspectors ensure that every product produced is packaged according to cGMP regulations. This includes verifying that all ingredients in a formula are in good status and match the batch production record (BPR). QC Inspectors also ensure the ingredient quantities match label claims, product size/counts are accurate, equipment is cleaned prior to production, metal-sensing instruments (metal detectors and magnets) are working properly, and all pertinent documentation is accurate, filled out correctly, and signed by the appropriate individuals.

  • Microbiological Testing

    For microbiological testing NOW utilizes the cutting edge Soleris® Rapid Microbial Detection System for fast screening of bacterial and fungal contamination in raw materials and finished products. Soleris® is a rapid optical system that measures microbial growth by assessing attributes such as bacterial pH and biochemical reactions.

  • Environmental Monitoring

    At NOW we take several steps to prevent cross contamination. Air quality is tested utilizing the RCS High Flow Touch Air Sampler, which tests for microbial and fungal contamination in production air and compressed air. We perform ATP (adenosine triphosphate) testing utilizing the 3M Clean Trace NG3 Luminometer, which tests for ATP residues on product-contact surfaces of all production equipment and instruments. We also perform physical swab testing of production area walls, ceilings, floors and drains to look for signs of bacterial contamination.

  • Technical Staff - Sparks, NV

    Our advanced instrumentation and cutting-edge laboratories require a team of passionate professionals to operate them. Our qualified team of scientists and technicians includes 24 Master’s degree holders, six Ph.D.s, one medical doctor, a board certified toxicologist, and numerous Bachelor’s degree holders.