Whole-process Quality Control, Key for Enterprises’ Survival
Dr. Zheng Qunyi, vice president in charge of R&D of HerbaLife and president of HerbaLife(Leishuo) Natural Products Co., Ltd., is an expert with background of development of natural ingredients and management of food supplements industry gained in the US.
While the natural ingredients developed by the US-based company set up years ago by Dr. Zheng used to lead the supplement consumption trend for several times in the US, R&D results worked out by him and his team years ago still impose impact on the current best-selling natural ingredients. Then he was employed as vice president of HerbaLife in charge of global R&D as the only Chinese scientists in HerbaLife’s team of global scientists. Thanks to his senior management and R&D experience in premium international food supplement manufacturers, Dr. Zheng has developed a unique in-depth viewpoint to the whole food supplement industry of the US and the natural ingredient industry of China: among all food supplement categories in the US, plant products are still a category of fast growth, even faster than vitamin and minerals. In 2014, turnover of herbal supplements in North American market totaled USD6.4 bln, with an annual growth rate of 6.8%, while turnover of the whole natural ingredients industry in the US aggregated USD164 bln. Among mainstream retailer channels in the US, the best-selling natural ingredient supplements include extracts from cranberry, Echinacea, black cohosh, valerian, aloe and silibinin.
Dr. Zheng is also one of the insiders who are involved in the AG event in New York this year. From the New York General Inspector’s blame on the herbal supplement industry in the US, Dr. Zheng figures out that quality control through the whole process is the key for the enterprise’s survival!
Now, New York AG requires all plant supplements shall have DNA barcode inspection certificate before put on the market. As most natural ingredients are extracted from ethanol or other solvents, target active components of the extracted plants are left over, with most DNA segments of the plants destroyed. This point alone entails the raw material suppliers and supplement producers to make efforts to control the product quality, not to mention the limit on the DNA inspection technology. In particular, Dr. Zheng emphasizes that species appreciation is very necessary and important in acquisition of plant raw materials by natural ingredient producers. In terms of the raw material management and control, he also shares the methods adopted by HerbaLife(Leishuo), which takes charge of HerbaLife’s 1000t annual demand of plant extracts. Besides the BIP certification dedicated for the raw material link, the products shall first pass inspections such as HPLC, UV, IR, LC/MS and NMR to confirm the plants’ species, and then undergo the DNA barcode inspection at the second phase. Up to date, HerbaLife has passed over 90 regular plant appreciation methods, including the BIP certification.
In the face of the strict industrial supervision that all enterprises shall conform on the current international arena, Dr. Zheng suggests that CEOs of domestic enterprises related to natural ingredients should keep an eye on, invest(from equipment to manpower) in and complete the whole-process quality management system(from SOP to whole-process production process), and establish the enterprise integrity to initiate new methods for whole-process quality management.
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