Kappa Bioscience announced the worldwide launch of a free vitamin K2 MK-7 quality testing programme while participating at CPhI India
Testing is open to finished K2 products, from any source, for testing and verification of the product’s K2 label claim.
The programme supports wider goals of educating markets about K2 stability, and advancing K2 science to resolve the question of why unprotected K2 is unstable in mineral formulations.
The offer was first proposed during a September Kappa webinar. The formal launch opens the programme to global participation and now includes website support to facilitate submissions.
Importantly, testing now includes a process for independent, third-party laboratory verification by region.
The independent verification process insures credibility of results and provides a model for how the supplements industry can address problems of low-quality ingredients, products that don’t meet label claims, and questionable use of data in marketing.
Stakeholders for vitamin K2 products are invited to submit samples for no-cost MK-7 testing.
Tests are conducted using USP methods and the confidential results are reported only to the test requestor. The first samples were submitted at CPhI India from brands, contract manufacturers and retailers seeking to verify the quality and performance of the K2 in their specific formulations.
‘‘We view independently validated testing programmes as an innovative way to address quality issues in the K2 market, if not the supplements industry as a whole,’’ said Egil Greve, CEO of Kappa Bioscience.
He continued: "Even the purest unprotected K2 can degrade in certain formulations, particularly in mineral formulations. Although the K2 industry debates the science of the problem, brands and consumers may bear the consequences by not receiving the promised K2. This programme says, ‘don’t trust our data, or anyone else’s. Trust your own data for your own products.’ We hope to make this easier to do."
The testing offer is open to companies with a role in the supply chain for a K2 product or an interest in protecting consumers or other stakeholders.
Finished products that contain vitamin K2 MK-7 and minerals, particularly calcium or magnesium, will be prioritised. Any K2 product, however, for which quality may be in question is eligible for testing, such as cis (inactive) versus trans (active) testing, vitamin MK-4 labelled as MK-7, and testing of K2 in ingredient form.
The programme is managed by a recognised leader in vitamin K testing, independent group company Kappa Chemistry, with validation conducted by globally recognised third-party laboratories in Europe, USA and Australia.
Although individual test results are confidential to the requestor, aggregate results that exclude brand identifiers will be included in Kappa’s annual K2 Market Study.
The 2016 study reported that that only 5% of unprotected K2-plus-minerals products sold to consumers met K2 label claim, and a third of K2-only products did not contain any K2 at all.
Jörg Büttinghaus, VP of Kappa Sales, said: "K2 is a fast-growing category and this can draw in players that put profits ahead of quality. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that it can also pressure reputable players to push the limits of science-bound K2 performance – specifically regarding the inherent instability of unprotected K2 in mineral formulations."
He continued: "This programme will help to protect consumers and ensure the healthy development of the K2 industry. Independent data is the best way for a market to address questions about quality and science."