DAO Labs is combining classic TCM formulas with other ingredients and flavors to help revolutionize this 2,500 year old practice. To accomplish this while preserving the heritage, authenticity and efficacy, we’re working closely with suppliers across Asia to ensure equally high safety standards. Authenticity, testing and safety are at the forefront of our company. Testing both starts and ends the manufacturing process. A summary of our testing is included below:
An herbal identification test is implemented upon initial receipt of the raw herbs which begins the authentication process. The authenticating protocol behind our herbs includes the following:
- Macroscopic inspection by qualified experts to “weed out” commonly substituted herbs
- Microscopic examination of the herb’s surface, grain, and distinguishing characteristics
- TLC (Thin layer chromatography), a chemical “fingerprint” unique to each species.
After authentication, batches of herbs are sorted through by trained technicians, who pick out and discard the damaged or subpar herbs.
Following thereto, a process of converting the raw herbs into herbal granular powders ensues. The technology behind this process was introduced in the early 1990s and has been found an extremely effective way of extrapolating the beneficial qualities of the raw herbs in a format that is easier to consume and store.
A series of tests for authenticity and safety are implemented throughout this process, with the final tests conducted to ensure potency and broader safety parameters. These tests include the following:
- Microbiological assays to screen for E. coli, salmonella and various other possible bio-contaminants such as molds or yeasts
- GC-MS-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) to ensure safety by testing for the presence of over 200 harmful substances such as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
- UPLC-MS-MS (Ultra performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) to measure key active ingredients, thereby indicating the general efficacy of the herb or herb formula
- ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry) to test heavy metals up to a range of parts per billion (ppb). ICP-MS is by far the most precise and sensitive technology available today to test for heavy metals.
Each batch is produced with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) which is used for later product verification and re-testing.