Health E-Insights: Tell our readers about your role at NSF
Mr. Trosin: I work with my global team in North America, China, India, Japan, and Europe to get the right quality solutions to our clients. These opportunities include auditing and GMP registration, product and ingredient certification, NSF’s Certified for Sport registration, training and education, DNA sequencing and other analytical testing. My primary focus is working with large clients and retailers globally to make sure their brand is protected.
Health E-Insights: What is NSF’s competitive advantage?
Mr. Trosin: NSF International has the only American National Standard for dietary supplements (NSF/ANSI 173), which it has been testing and certifying products to for more than 14 years. First it begins with the manufacturing facility which is audited twice annually to verify continued compliance with GMPs specified by the FDA in 21 CFR Part 111. Only after all corrective actions have been addressed by the manufacturer can the facility become NSF GMP registered. NSF has specific audits for manufacturers of finished products and raw materials, packagers and distribution facilities. The next step is NSF Dietary Supplement Certification. This includes label claims and content verification, as well as contaminant testing. We verify label contents and that there are no harmful levels of specific contaminants. The number of certified products has doubled in just the last year as consumers seek safer supplements and companies step up to meet this demand. Now more than 800 products are certified and consumers and retailers can look for the NSF mark to choose safer supplements. The third level a product can earn is NSF Certified for Sport Certification in addition to the testing and auditing described above. It means the product has also been screened for over 245 athletic banned substances from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), NSF Annex B, NFL and MLB prohibited substance lists. This is why the NSF Certified for Sport program is used by the NFL, NHL, MLB, PGA, LPGA, Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the New York City Police Department.
Health E-Insights: Where will the most significant growth occur in the company in the next few years?
Mr. Trosin: There has been a great deal of focus on transparency both in finished product and raw materials. This was largely initiated by the New York Attorney General’s activity. Our work in leading the Global Retailer Manufacturers Alliance is proving that retailers want to have simpler more straight forward products available for consumers. Thus manufacturers are going to expect greater transparency and compliance from their raw material suppliers. All of this will lead to greater activity in terms of auditing and testing. We have seen GMP registrations continue to increase over the last two years, and the demand for product certification and testing has gone up significantly in the last year. We have also acquired AuthenTechnologies, now known as NSF AuthenTechnologies, which provides next generation DNA sequencing for authentication of species in both raw materials and extracts. The interest in DNA testing as a complement to other testing is growing in every market around the world. We expect this unique aspect of our business to continue to grow rapidly.
Health E-Insights: Which is most important to your organization—mission, core values or vision?
Mr. Trosin: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 155 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. NSF International possesses six core values. We demand the highest ethics and integrity from our staff. We operate using sound scientific principles. NSF employees respect and care for each other and promote personal and professional growth, foster innovation and creativity. Our employees demonstrate social and environmental responsibility and are committed to winning and being the best.
Health E-Insights: What do you see as significant trends in the industry?
Mr. Trosin: NSF International has been monitoring and planning for the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements (Subpart L- Food Safety and Subpart O – Analysis of Good Manufacturing Practices) which will impact supply chain management for manufacturers this year. As part of NSF’s preparation, has begun offering training courses for the dietary supplement industry around the new FSMA rules. NSF International is also working to incorporate FSMA rules into the NSF GMP audits. DNA testing has also been of high interest to industry and regulators alike, but all DNA testing is not created equally. We have also acquired AuthenTechnologies, now known as NSF AuthenTechnologies, which provides next generation DNA sequencing for authentication of species in both raw materials and extracts. The interest in DNA testing as a compliment to other testing is growing in every market around the world. We expect this unique aspect of our business to continue to grow rapidly. The DNA test methods developed by NSF AuthenTechnologies are different from other DNA-based methods in that they are highly specific and capable of identifying almost any species, even in highly processed materials and complex mixtures. Botanical ingredients or extracts used in dietary supplements can be processed in a way that removes or fragments much of the DNA material, while retaining the beneficial phytochemicals that consumers expect. This renders traditional DNA barcoding an inadequate method of authenticating the product, as it requires longer regions of DNA strands to identify the species. Our proprietary and validated Next Generation DNA Sequencing method is the only DNA method that works for highly processed products that, as a result of processing, have shorter DNA fragments. This technology also can detect unexpected contaminants, allergens, pesticide residues, GMOs, fillers and filth in dietary supplements.
Health E-Insights: What do you consider your greatest achievement in business or personal life?
Mr. Trosin: Without hesitation my family is my greatest achievement. I have a great wife and three incredible kids. I am fortunate to be a part of their lives. Second to them I have had the privilege of being involved in a number of exciting projects at NSF International from large brand certification, to seeing the number of GMP registered facilities grow tenfold since I joined NSF nearly a decade ago. Most recently it is the formation of the Global Retailer Manufacturers Alliance. Being a part of the group that is creating harmony between the best retailers and manufacturers in terms of quality requirements has been a tremendous honor.
Health E-Insights: Since you travel a lot, how do you past the time while flying?
Mr. Trosin: Flight time is one of the few times in my schedule when my phone is not ringing. This is a great time for me to catch up on e-mail, industry articles, and recreational reading.
Health E-Insights: If you had a chance to sit next to a famous person on your next flight, who would it be and why?
Mr. Trosin: I would have to say (the actor) John Cleese. The guy is smart and funny, and so quick. While it would be great to hear about his past work, I think he is a keen observer of current events and human behavior. That would be an entertaining and enlightening flight.
Sheldon Baker is a partner in the Baker Dillon Group and has created numerous nutraceutical marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known companies and brands. For Health E-Insights interview consideration and campaign development, contact him at SBaker@BakerDillon.com.