From stakeholder panels and working groups to expert review panel (ERP) activities, the AOAC stakeholder process has resulted in significant progress in new standards and modern methods for the analytical sciences communities. Some potential outcomes of the 2015 AOAC Mid-Year Meeting for dietary supplements include:
* Approval of SMPRs for Mitragyna speciosa (kratom), Folin C, cinnamon, and ashwagandha
* Development of draft SMPRs for vitamin D, tea, and aloe
“This is an exciting project, analytically and from the standpoint of societal, industrial, and governmental need,” said AOAC executive director James Bradford. “AOAC’s previous work in the dietary supplements area has resulted in an impressive list of methods adopted, botanical identification guidelines, including a statistical model for the validation of qualitative botanical identification methods, and standards for anthocyanins, chondroitin, and PDE5 inhibitors, among others. Sound, science-based solutions can help level the playing field for the dietary supplements industry’s problem of inferior products and the need for standardized testing methodology.”
The analysis of complex dietary supplements poses many challenges. For example, dietary supplements are often mixtures of large numbers of compounds. Further, compounds of dietary supplements are often unstable, making extraction difficult and posing reference material challenges. Methods are needed with analytical ranges appropriate to everything from raw materials to finished products. There is a lack of uniform industry test standards necessary to help resolve the safety, quality, and regulatory issues that follow as a result.
In response, through its standards development process, AOAC engages the dietary supplements industry to develop voluntary consensus standards in an effort to standardize and modernize methods. AOAC leverages networks and dietary supplements stakeholders for industry outreach and engagement. AOAC encourages industry to participate to help drive and move the effort forward and ensure that the work is relevant.
The overall objectives of the contract are to provide ODS with “a stakeholder-informed master list of dietary supplement ingredients/finished products for which scientifically valid methods are lacking; to use a formal process to set stakeholder-informed priorities for the order in which method needs identified in the master list will be addressed; and to provide consensus driven expert guidance in selecting individual high-priority methods to become candidate methods for future validation studies.”
In addition, as part of the Mid-Year Meeting, working groups are expected to begin standards development activities for three new ingredients identified as priority by an advisory panel in December 2014: vitamin D, tea, and aloe. Working group chairs will provide an overview of their respective ingredients, including background information, technical issues, regulatory requirements, available methodology, and more. Working groups will then develop draft fitness-for-purpose statements, which will be reviewed by SPDS for possible endorsement, and begin developing draft SMPRs.
For more information on the AOAC SPDS initiative, visit www.aoac.org.