by Lynda Hammons, VP of Quality and Regulatory Affairs
Nature’s Sunshine is renowned throughout the world for our commitment to quality and the stringent testing we have in place. With the help of our Quality Assurance department, we’re constantly raising the bar for quality testing in the industry.
The Methods Development group of Quality Control has developed an improved method for testing the polysaccharide content of Wolfberries. Wolfberry, also commonly known as goji berry, is the fruit of Lycium barbarum and is a key natural ingredient in NSP’s Thai-Go. The wolfberry used by Nature’s Sunshine is from the Ningxia, Qinghai and Tibet regions of China.
The polysaccharides in Wolfberry are just one group of phytochemicals in wolfberry. There are 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides in Wolfberries. The polysaccharide content is critical in assuring the quality of wolfberries. These polysaccharides have been studied extensively and have been shown to have numerous beneficial effects on the body.
NSP developed a method when this raw material was first used in Thai-Go. Recently, however, Dr. Zhe Zhang in our Methods Development group, used the HPLC coupled with an evaporative light scattering detector to improve the method for testing these polysaccharides. The improved procedure expands the application scope of our current method so that we can better test the natural variability from wolfberries sourced from different regions as well as different harvests and weather conditions. This improved testing allows NSP to continue to raise the standard for the highest quality and guarantees lot-to-lot consistency of actives.
If you happen to be in Ningxia, China in August, stop by the two-week festival that celebrates the wolfberry and the amazing health benefits of the fruit, which is considered a national treasure.