With all the care that goes into developing our formulas, we are not content to leave the manufacturing or testing to someone else. It is standard for dietary supplement companies to buy their ingredients from brokers, then have someone else blend and package the product; some even buy their botanical ingredients in finished form without knowing the growing conditions or specifics about methods of processing! But we know that every detail counts – where the ingredients come from and how they are processed are as important as which ingredients are in the formula in what proportions. With recent food safety scares in the news, we’re even more dubious that botanical product quality is possible without overseeing the entire supply chain ourselves. Plantiva’s formulas are manufactured via a unique process in which review of all aspects of Quality Assurance (QA) is vertically integrated under one company, starting right from the crude, unprocessed botanicals all the way through the finished product. The QA department in the US, together with Plantiva’s lab and in the company’s Beijing office, oversees all key aspects of procurement, manufacturing, and quality control testing.

Ingredient Sourcing

Plantiva sourcing of ingredientsExtensive care is taken with the sourcing of all Plantiva formula ingredients. We don’t buy our ingredients in pre-processed form, such as a botanical extract or a powder; we insist on oversight of the botanical processing ourselves, to ensure it’s done right every time. And we don’t buy our crude botanicals through brokers on the world market from unknown sources as is standard practice in the industry. The quality of a botanical material is determined largely by where and how it is grown, so we make sure our ingredients are sourced directly from the growers themselves. This allows us to carefully select only the highest quality botanical materials, and ensure we get the same high quality every time. With over 15 years of researching the quality of plants growing on medicinal herb farms around the world the growing areas for each Plantiva botanical ingredient are chosen to minimize environmental contamination and maximize sustainability and the health and quality of the plants. Wherever possible, we select “green” growing areas that use no chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Once the optimal sources are approved, we then purchase our ingredients only from these approved growing areas for each botanical.

Manufacturing

Plantiva green tea extraction facilityPlantiva carefully optimizes the manufacturing processes involved in each formula with product quality, safety, and efficacy in mind. We know from experience that different botanicals need different types of processing; in fact, it may even be necessary to adjust the processing of the same botanical when used in different formulas. Therefore, we carefully evaluate raw material preparation methods and extraction methods as well as the proportions of ingredients used in each formula. For extraction we use only natural solvents such as water and ethanol; never harsh synthetic chemicals. Once the proper formula and manufacturing processes are established, the production of each batch of our formulas is reviewed by Plantiva QA and all processing is conducted in strict conformance with the approved manufacturing procedures and formulas.

Testing

dnd-clean-rooms-croppedEach lot of raw material and finished formula is subjected to a comprehensive battery of testing, to control for everything from botanical identity and the content of marker compounds to contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and pathogenic bacteria. Our tightly controlled supply chain allows us to be confident that contamination with unapproved drugs, melamine, or other banned substances is not an issue in our products; nevertheless, we also periodically submit samples of our products to independent, accredited test laboratories to screen for a wide variety of potential contaminants.

QA Oversight

Quality Assurance is closely involved in all aspects of operations, not just laboratory testing. QA reviews everything from the manufacturing processes to employee training, equipment calibration, proper documentation, and other important procedures. For each lot of raw material and finished formula, all relevant data are reviewed by QA management prior to approval or rejection of the batch. This includes not only raw testing data, but also purchasing records, sampling records, and manufacturing batch data. In short, no product leaves our doors till we’re completely satisfied with it from start to finish!