CB1.7 - Traditional and herbal products
- To underpin the capability of the Government Chemist to perform referee analysis of the authenticity and safety of traditional and herbal products.
- To develop analytical methods which are appropriate for referee analysis to determine active ingredients botanical food supplements.
There is an ever increasing number of products of broad diversity that fall under the headings of ‘Herbals’, ‘Health Supplements’ and ‘Nutraceuticals’, available for sale in specialist shops, pharmacies, supermarkets and via the internet.
Difficulties exist in classifying and controlling ‘borderline products’, notably in distinguishing between those covered by the ‘Food Safety Act 1990’ and those falling under the ‘Medicines Act 1968’: especially in respect of ‘health foods’ and similar products.
Increased enforcement activity in this area is anticipated, due to the growing popularity of traditional and herbal products amongst consumers and the increased interest from consumer groups, who are concerned about the lack of regulation.
The project will focus on the development of chromatographic methods for the determination of Echinacea and Ginkgo Biloba: ingredients of some of the most commonly purchased botanical products in the UK. The methodology will be extended to cover a range of top-selling products so that the capability to undertake referee cases in priority areas is developed.