Health E-Insights: Provide an overview of Creative Accord.
Mr. Frederico: Creative Accord is an independent testing laboratory and regulatory consultant service for essential oils, flavors, fragrances and consumer product businesses. Creative Accord routinely performs testing to determine quality of ingredients in submitted samples (e.g., essential oils). Creative Accord can also help with regulatory questions and compliance in an increasingly complicated area of business. We work closely with our clients to provide services effectively and thoroughly. We optimize our testing methods by using validated, standard procedures from the agricultural and essential oil industry to improve test accuracy and reliability and reduce costs.
Health E-Insights: What unique services do you provide?
Mr. Frederico: Creative Accord offers the unique service of an independent testing laboratory coupled with expertise in natural products, analysis, quality assurance and regulatory affairs. Often requested analysis stems from concern of safety in the marketplace or regulations from governing bodies. Thus, Creative Accord is always investigating the latest trends to offer relevant service to our customers’ changing needs. Creative Accord provides professional advice for FDA, EPA, OSHA and EU REACH regulations. Standard procedures we offer are considered specifications and a general place to start a quality program. Due to modern adulteration practices, we need additional tools. To establish quality we check for adulteration by foreign matter that could be mixed with the target. Then we use a chiral gas chromatography (GC) technique to look for related natural botanical sources. For chiral GC, analytics can be readily applied to determine trends. Chirality arises from the spatial arrangement of different atoms or groups attached to a carbon atom in the component. In a simple example, the arrangement results in two forms of the component referred to as enantiomers. Chiral GC takes advantage of the chirality of the component and separates the enantiomers like separating your right from your left hand. Many components are chiral and the ratio of left and right enantiomers is unique to the botanical or industrial origin; so by knowing the ratio, adulteration by other botanical sources can be detected.
Health E-Insights: How do you feel your business has changed since you first got into it?
Mr. Frederico: Creative Accord initially specialized in examining essential oils, fragrances and consumer products. Over time customers have asked for analysis in dietary supplements and botanicals, so we responded by providing service in these areas. The biggest change happened by bringing regulatory services into the discussion with customers. Generally, customers are reassured knowing that the testing laboratory understands their need for compliance.
Health E-Insights: What are the top two metrics to which your company pays the closest attention?
Mr. Frederico: The first metric we pay close attention to is the quality of the work delivered. We want to look at the whole project to determine if our process of solving the request was completed effectively and efficiently. For example, choosing of a test method to be conducted while maintaining efficiency is really important, as it impacts costs and time. Even the small items like a reports format has to be taken into account. The second metric we adhere to on a daily basis is customer satisfaction. We strive to capture the scope of the customer’s project and deliver it in a manner most helpful to them. After the project is completed we follow up to ensure the customer is satisfied.
Health E-Insights: Where will the most significant growth occur in the company in the next few years?
Mr. Frederico: The most growth is expected in the area of authentication of botanicals due to adulteration and quality variance. As the price of raw material increases, the presence of adulterated material may rise. Creative Accord intends to support customers by continuing and growing in testing of botanicals for dietary supplements. We have reported on adulteration numerous times and expect it to increase.
Health E-Insights: What’s your proudest career achievement?
Mr. Frederico: Early in my carrier, after completing my doctoral thesis, I wrote a letter to request a post-doctoral position with Professor Koji Nakanishi, a prominent organic chemist who specializes in natural products. I really wanted to continue work in the area of natural products and thought his research on marine natural products and retinal area was so interesting. A short time later I was accepted into Prof. Nakanishi’s team at Columbia University to study natural products. That was a long-time proud achievement.
Health E-Insights: Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Mr. Frederico: Artists have had the biggest influence in my life. Painters have the gift to envision and create a work of art that goes beyond simple reproduction to inspiration. One of my favorite painters is Peter Paul Rubens due to his fantastic painting Prometheus Bound. The way he combined paint and canvas to create a struggling Prometheus seems so real, as if you were there watching the scene unfold. His ability to work on such a large canvas in itself is impressive. The painting is so large, almost eight by seven feet.
Sheldon Baker is well-known for creating nutraceutical brand marketing and public relations campaigns. He serves as vice president strategic engagement for the American Herbal Products Association. For Health E-Insights interview consideration, contact him at Sheldon@NutraInk.com. And follow him on Twitter @NutraInk.