Success Story: USP’s Impact on Food and Supplement Quality
This success story shows how companies are using—and getting value from—products and services from USP, a scientific nonprofit organization that sets quality standards for food ingredients, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals. USP publishes the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), a book of written standards for the quality, purity, and identity of food ingredients.
The Company: Deerland Enzymes
Deerland Enzymes is a trading and enzyme manufacturing organization that supplies manufacturers and distributors worldwide with nutritional enzyme products and services. Based in Kennesaw, Georgia, Deerland produces industrial enzymes derived from all four natural origins: plant, animal, fungus and bacteria. Its products are used in a wide variety of commercial applications including foods, nutritional supplements, and pharmaceuticals.
FCC: Confidence in Quality Ingredients for Foods and Supplements
- A Common Yardstick. Because foods and dietary supplements aren't regulated in the United States in the same way that drugs are, manufacturers need a scientific, evidence-based tool to help evaluate and ensure quality. According to Hilton Dawson, chief technical officer at Deerland, “We use FCC's assay methods as a standard for the industry. Especially in the supplements industry, many methodologies are used, so it's even more important to have a common yardstick.”
- Accepted Methodology. Standards and methods in FCC provide a way to evaluate and compare vendors. John Deaton, Deerland's quality control manager, observed, “Our customers like to see FCC methods used. They accept it as a sign of good quality. And when vendors use FCC standards, it lets me compare them and their products more readily.”
- Product Registration. Deerland sells products into Canada, one of the countries where FCC is recognized in law. Demonstrating adherence to FCC standards—for example, as a measure of product potency—facilitates the product registration process.
- Easy Information Access. FCC is sometimes compared with the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or the Codex Alimentarius (CA), as all three include quality criteria. But, “We use FCC, CA, and CFR in completely different ways,” noted Dawson. He appreciates the fact that FCC is updated much more regularly than the CFR, and its quality standards and related methodologies are different—there's little overlap among the three. “And it's easy to find information in FCC,” Deaton added. “That's not the case with either CA or the CFR.”