Episode 125 – Lab Testing with Eurofins Scientific



Joe: On this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," independent third-party lab testing in the vitamin and gummy space takes innovation, agility, and a commitment to the highest standards. We're introducing you to a global leader in testing on this episode of the CPG & CBD University Podcast. And it starts right now.

Joe: I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the CPG & CBD University Podcast. The Eurofins network of food feed and supplement testing laboratories in the U.S. has a testing portfolio of 200,000 plus analytical method. It takes innovation, a commitment to the highest standards, and unbiased analysis to be in an industry-leading in testing. And I welcome Vanessa Snyder, business development director for Hemp and Botanicals with Eurofins on this episode. For those of you watching us on the YouTube channel, joining me via Zoom, first of all, Vanessa, welcome to the podcast.

Vanessa: Thank you. And thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Joe: And tell our viewers and listeners a little bit about Eurofins.

Vanessa: Yeah. So a little bit, that's hard to unpack while we're here. But Eurofins is a global network of laboratories. So we have over 900 labs across the globe. About 30 here in the U.S. And we provide testing and support solutions for various industries from pharmaceutical to food and beverage, environmental, supplements, agriscience, consumer products, kind of all across the board. So really, we are a testing for life company to ensure the health and safety, not only for humans but animals as well. Here at Eurofins, we really do have, you know, really instilled the highest quality standards, first to market approach, and a heavy focus and drive on innovation across our laboratories.

Joe: And you mentioned innovation. How hard is it to stay on top of the latest equipment and testing requirements across multiple industries as you just listed?

Vanessa: Yeah. So it certainly can present some challenges. However, the way Eurofins is set up is we have multiple labs that are more of hubs. So we offer, you know, thousands of test methods at these large analysis centers, but then we have a lot of really specialized laboratories. So labs that will focus on a specific industry or a niche or specific testing methods. So it's much easier for those groups to stay involved in the regulations, you know, you mentioned equipment, you know, all the testing requirements as it pertains to that given industry or specific matrix, for example.

You know, we are very active in industry organizations as well. So when you think of AOAC, UNPA, APA, IFT. We have representatives. Some of our CSOs were past presidents on those organizations. So we're really well intertwined within the various industries, which makes it much easier for knowledge to be shared. You know, we can share innovation, you know, push for standardization and regulation across those industries and then go back and spread that education with our clients and our network. So we often host webinars and share a lot of information on our resource center. We actually had a webinar earlier today on best practices in dietary supplements. So we stay really connected within industry and like to be on the forefront of that innovation and best practices.

Joe: We talk about innovation and high standards, we're proud to be a partner of Eurofins. So talk about our relationship and the services that Eurofins provides.

Vanessa: Yeah, that's great. And first and foremost, we love the partnership. We certainly appreciate companies such as Global Widget that really strive for that high quality, I mean, across the board. I visited your facility and it's really clear that quality is at the forefront and really instilled in the culture. It's easy for us when we can work with companies that truly do understand, you know, the value of quality and the value that a laboratory can bring to them.

So, you know, with new methods that need to be developed as we're seeing an influx of dietary supplements really being on the forefront of ensuring that the methods are fit for purpose and suitable so that you're getting those quality, you know, reliable, reproducible, and consistent results so you know that the quality of your product is hitting the mark from the incoming ingredients to in process to finish product. So we definitely appreciate the relationship and partnership we have. And it truly is a partnership and we really feel like an extension of your internal quality team.

Joe: And are there more challenges in one industry over another? And what unique challenge does the vitamin and supplement industry present when it comes to testing and quality?

Vanessa: Sure. Yeah, that's a great question. There are definitely challenges across different industries. So, you're probably well aware with working with Hemp and CBD, in the Hemp space, there's, you know, the Patrick of state regulations and testing requirements. So that's challenging in and of itself just to keep on top of that. You know, you have states like Colorado with their CDPHE requirements that have super strict low limits on pesticides. So, you know, that was really challenging for our laboratory to meet.

You look at industries such as infant formula and with infant formula, infants are obviously super high risk. So a lot of the contaminants need to be down to those low, low, low levels of detection. So, yeah, I mean, depending on what industry you're talking about, there can be unique challenges brought up. You had mentioned vitamins and supplements. Obviously, some of those matrices can be super complex. I mean, you can have a supplement that might have 30 plus ingredients or actives in them, and that's going to cause potential matrix interferences. You know, the matrix itself, like a gummy might be more complex or difficult to work with. So certainly understanding the industry, the products you're working with, and what some of those challenges might be. You know, you definitely have to anticipate for that and do need a lot of experience in the space to ensure that you're always getting those quality results.

Joe: And when we talk about experience and we talk about one of those products, let's talk gummies, one of our topics to talk here on the podcast in the office, and sometimes wherever you may find us. With the influx of gummies in the industry, obviously, the test need also increases. What is harder about testing gummies as opposed to other types of products? Any specific challenges?

Vanessa: Sure. Well, first of all, I love the influx of gummies. I am totally here for it. My only complaint is sometimes they taste too good and I eat them like candy. So I have to hide them in my house. From the testing standpoint, honestly, some of the challenges begin just from receiving the sample. So, although one of our labs is based in Wisconsin and it's often pretty cold up here, we do have some hot and sticky months in the summer.

So if a sample is not shipped on dry ice or in a cooler, we can get a bag of just a sticky mess. Then we have to start all over and get new sample in because we can't take, you know, entity weights in order to report results per serving. Gummies also have unique stability and degradation products that is very different than, you know, some of those dry delivery formats such as tablets or capsules. I know our lab has specifically encountered this with folic acid and melatonin.

So it's really important from the lab standpoint and the testing aspect to really understand what some of those chat challenges might be and, you know, having the experience with working with the gummy format. Let's see what else. Well, you'll appreciate this. When there are matrix changes such as working with a sugar-free gummy and sugar-free formulations, when you have a sugar-free gummy that may be higher in fiber content, you might have challenges with the standard methods because of that higher fiber. So things like that might need a little more special attention or some changes to the methodology to ensure that results are going to be accurate and reliable. And then, you know, you always have to consider batch uniformity with gummies. So even with a given batch from, you know, beginning, middle, and end, sometimes we can see variability. So yeah, gummies are very unique but we're always anticipating and overcoming those challenges when testing for them.

Joe: And for more on sugar-free formulations, you know, I'm gonna get a cheap plug in there because we just talked about this.

Vanessa: Oh, yeah.

Joe: Go back to episode 123 with members of our formulation team. We talk about the challenges and some of the substitutes that may be used when formulating and manufacturing sugar-free gummies. So you can give that episode a listen to. All right. So you mentioned you enjoy gummies and have to hide them at home. So I've gotta ask because we always talk about flavors. Do you have a favorite flavor of gummies that's really hard no matter where you hide it to stay away from?

Vanessa: I love anything except lemon or lime. But cherry, grape, watermelon, mango, I mean, throw it at me but I'm not a huge fan of lemon or lime.

Joe: That's the way I always was with the, you know, colored candies back in the day. Yeah.

Vanessa: Yep.

Joe: Pick out the yellow and green ones, somebody else can have. I'll have every other one.

Vanessa: Yep. That's totally me.

Joe: Absolutely. 100%. Well, Vanessa, thank you for joining me today and for all the great insight. That was very informational, a lot of fun.

Vanessa: Absolutely.

Joe: Vanessa Snyder of Eurofins, my guest on this episode of the CPG & CBD University Podcast, and we'll have to do this again sometime soon.

Vanessa: I'd be more than happy to. Thanks again for having me.

Joe: And even for more information, visit their website at E-U-R-O... I'm reading off my script so I don't wanna mess anything up. eurofinsus.com. The link will also be in the description of this podcast episode. I invite you to subscribe to our podcast wherever you get your podcast. And don't forget you can also catch full video episodes of our podcast on YouTube, episode number 125 with Vanessa Snyder of Eurofins now in the books. I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Thanks for tuning in.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.