First whey form meets sports testing standards

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food supplements World anti-doping agency

UK whey-based performance nutrition specialist, Volac, has become the first raw ingredients supplier to meet the stringent requirements of testing programme, Informed-Sport.

Informed-Sport is part of third party tester, HFL, and tests for products containing constituents such as stimulants and steroids banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and which may exist at such as low levels that they are not detected in other testing methods.

Volac becomes the first raw ingredients company to gain Informed Sport accreditation for batches of its products and joins other products such as the sports drink, Lucozade, and a host of food supplements. Protein is particularly favoured by athletes in muscle recovery and muscle building.

“Testing has always been rigorous but by meeting the highly sensitive testing requirements of Informed Sport, which adds sector-specific assurance way beyond those of standard quality assurance controls, our customers and more importantly their customers – the athletes - can be reassured that even trace substances in batches of our Volactive range of whey protein concentrates and isolates would be identified,”​ said Mark Neville, marketing manager, dairy & lifestyle ingredients at Volac.

Informed-Sport’s Dr David Hall told that the programme was growing in popularity as more and more bodies and citizens accepted the fact that athletes used food supplements, and its logo appeared on more and more products.

“WADA’s position is not to use them but food supplements are being used and they are being used safely and our programme is all about rigorous testing,”​ he said. “In the UK something like 1-in-10 products is contaminated with something, even al low levels. Our testing reveals 1-in-100.”

“The fact is elite athletes are crying out for these products and while we cannot guarantee the products are safe because we only test one gram out of a one tonne batch, our testing guarantees testing is being carried out to the highest level.”

Informed Sport has been in development by HFL for several years although it only officially came into play as the entity it is today last year and it is serving a need to improve the testing of foods supplements, especially in the elite sports arena, where standards are so much stricter.

Food supplements companies are charged between €220 and €315 to have products tested by HFL. A similar system exists in the Netherlands where companies can pay a fee of between €550 and €800 to have their products tested in a Cologne lab set up to meet WADA requirements.

These services exist in a climate where WADA’s official position remains that athletes should get all their nutrients from a balanced diets of whole foods, and therefore warns athletes off food supplements.

But most athletes use them for varying performance, health or recovery reasons and this fact has led many national athletic bodies to state supplements can be safe and beneficial – if tested appropriately.

This reality caused UK Sport – the Lotteries-funded agency that advises elite athletes in the UK – last July to acknowledge for the first time that supplements such as whey, isotonic drinks, creatine and multivitamin and mineral complexes could be of benefit to athletes.

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