Sabinsa takes action against Biotikon for synthetic curcumin adulteration

The dispute covers false advertising and for using Sabinsa's trademark illegally, undermining its credibility

Sabinsa has taken legal action against a German company Biotikon for selling curcumin supplements described as derived from turmeric root but which contained significant amounts of synthetic curcumin, independent testing confirmed.

Although Sabinsa several times requested that Biotikon cease and desist advertising the company’s curcumin as natural, Biotikon did not comply.

Sabinsa subsequently initiated actions at the civil courts of Germany with the District Attorney, Darmstadt and the Veterinary and Consumer Protection Agency, Heppenheim.

The dispute covers the damages for false advertising of a synthetic product as natural and for using Sabinsa’s trademark “Bioperine” illegally without Sabinsa’s consent, undermining the credibility of the trademark.

Sabinsa also claims that Biotikon has been using published studies on Sabinsa’s Curcumin C3 Complex and BioPerine ingredients in marketing Biotikon’s products adulterated with synthetic curcumin.

“Sabinsa has taken a strong stand to combat the substituting of natural curcumin with synthetic versions,” said Sabinsa founder, Muhammed Majeed.

“We alerted the industry to the adulteration problem two years ago, when Sabinsa became aware that turmeric extracts adulterated with synthetic curcuminoids were infiltrating the market.”

Testing for synthetics

Plant-derived curcumin contains a definitive amount of radiocarbon, which is absent in synthetic curcumin, made from petroleum-based materials.

Testing methods such as Accelerator Mass Spectrometry can accurately assess the content of radiocarbon in a sample and can readily distinguish between a natural sample and its synthetic version.

It can even determine the extent or degree of synthetic contamination in a professed natural product when both the natural and synthetic products are mixed – a common practice to offer cheap material.

Sabinsa initiated radiocarbon testing for all batches of Curcumin C3 Complex.

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