The program was first reported by NutraIngredients-USA in 2021, and was officially launched Tuesday. Brands like Bare Performance Nutrition, Ritual, TYM, AGN Roots, and Clean Shake have already signed up for the program, said LGC, with many other protein products currently in the midst of the certification process.
The global protein supplements market is worth over $22 billion, with expectations to nearly double by 2030; the US market alone generated $8.4 billion in 2021 (Grand View Research, 2021). The size of the prize will always attract potentially unscrupulous players, and hence the need for certification programs like Informed Protein.
The idea for the program came from concerns around amino spiking, a practice where amino acids like, for example, L-Taurine or L-Glycine are added to a product to artificially inflate the overall protein levels. However, these amino acids are non-essential and really don’t do anything for a consumer in terms of muscle building and recovery.
A recent survey of 61 protein products performed by LGC reportedly found 16 with a protein content that was less than 98% of the claim on the Nutrition Facts label. The findings were observed across four different protein sources (whey, soy, pea, and egg). Furthermore, an egg protein product making a 100% egg protein claim, was found to only contain 27% of protein label claimed.
“With transparency demands from consumers becoming increasingly prevalent, Informed Protein provides supplement brands an extra level of quality assurance to their customers that the amount of protein they’re paying for is actually in the product. With supply chain issues facing the industry right now, reputable companies can utilize this certification to demonstrate their commitment to quality assurance and trust to their customers,” said Paul Klinger, Informed Business Development Director.
“When a supplement user sees the Informed Protein logo on a product, they can have confidence the amount of protein listed on the label is accurate and has been independently verified.”
According to LGC, all certified products are assessed for their total nitrogen content and are evaluated for their carbon/nitrogen ratio to ensure batch consistency. Informed Protein also performs a free amino acid analysis to evaluate non-protein nitrogen.
To minimize the risk of inadvertent adulterants and to ensure products are produced to high-quality standards, the verification program performs robust facility assessments of all manufacturing facilities producing certified products.
Once products are certified, they will be regularly tested through blind sampling of products. Program administrators will purchase the products from retail, said LGC, and they will be analyzed under ISO 17025 accredited methods at LGC’s Lexington, KY laboratory.
Protein supplements tested and certified by Informed Protein will carry the Informed Protein logo on product packaging stating they have been regularly tested.
Sports & Active Nutrition Summit 2023
The topic of quality and certification will be a key theme at the upcoming Sports & Active Nutrition Summit, hosted by NutraIngredients-USA, February 15-17 in San Diego. LGC’s Paul Klinger will join Amy Eichner from the US Anti-Doping Agency, Dr Rob Wildman from the International Protein Board and TYM Performance Nutrition, and Bryan Morin from NOW Sports for an in-depth panel discussion at the event. For more information and to register, please click HERE.