Choosing an ingredient supplier is a critical decision, particularly when working with companies in today’s increasingly global marketplace. A few key areas of concentration drive the process in general, and an additional short list of considerations should come into play depending on the particular ingredient, such as ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal) is one of the most popular Indian botanical plants and has been in use in Ayurveda, the more than 4,000-year-old Indian system of medicine, as a rejuvenative and daily tonic for many centuries. Boasting an impressively broad range of therapeutic effects, ashwagandha is one of the more complex herbs, containing many phytochemical constituents.
As formulators and manufacturers are increasingly seeing the value of incorporating ashwagandha into their finished products, the next step is selecting the right supplier that can deliver a consistent, quality ingredient. With continued discussion in the industry regarding supply chain traceability, quality control, substantiation and more, it’s important to understand the top considerations for choosing an ingredient supplier.
Supply chain oversight is one of the most important factors. International regulatory agencies place great importance on supply chain traceability, and recent laws make it more important than ever that companies be transparent throughout the supply chain. In terms of botanicals, understanding where and how the ingredients are sourced and processed is particularly important, as it can affect the bioactivity and efficacy. When it comes to ashwagandha, different geographic locations determine the amounts and ratios of bioactive compounds in the root. Depending on soil conditions, the withanolide content in ashwagandha can vary. Can your supplier trace its ingredient from the field to your door?
Quality certifications provide some assurance that a company is committed to best practices in its production and supply chain. Some certifications focus on production techniques, such as organic, kosher or halal. Understanding the types of certifications a company holds can give insight into what it values and where it is investing.
Research is another area where investment can make a huge difference. In today’s “no nonsense” era, consumers want more evidence and validation of the claims they see on their products. There is a demand for clarity, but also a desire for scientific research that is easy to understand. This presupposes that there is a robust amount of high-quality scientific research into the ingredients that does substantiate the purported health effects. When looking at ashwagandha, this means: has research been conducted on this actual ingredient, with results presented in a transparent way?
Several other factors should be taken into account when selecting an ashwagandha supplier. To learn more, download the full “Selecting the Right Ashwagandha Supplier” Report from Ashwagandha Advantage.