How We Test

Testing is the cornerstone of our Quality Assurance Program. Rigorous and comprehensive tests are performed by independent American laboratories.

Allergen Testing

Knowing that your products are free from common allergens is key to helping you choose supplements you can rely on with peace of mind. At Vital Nutrients, we proactively screen and test our products for common allergens, including tree nut, peanut, gluten, egg, dairy, soy, shellfish and fish. That begins at the source with each ingredient all the way through finished product manufacturing. When a product contains an allergen (e.g. fish oil), the label is clearly labeled to avoid unnecessary confusion.

Raw Material Testing

Identification, Authenticity and Potency

The identity and authenticity of each ingredient is verified through scientific test methods and potency markers are quantified to ensure the strength of the nutrient.


Each ingredient is tested for a microbiology panel that includes total aerobic bacterial count, yeast and mold counts, Salmonella species, E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

Chemical Solvent Residue

Many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical products are manufactured using one or more chemicals or chemical solvents. We test each ingredient for 52 chemical solvents, using a test developed for compliance with USP 467, the pharmaceutical industry’s standard for solvent residues.

Heavy Metals

All botanical and fish oil products are tested for lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. Certain minerals and other vulnerable materials are also tested for lead.

Herbicide, Pesticide and Fungicide

Every botanical ingredient is tested for 310 herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, including organochlorines, organophosphates and organonitrogens, and pyrethroids.

Aflatoxin Residue

Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites produced by certain fungi that are in or on foods and plant materials. Four different aflatoxins, B1, B2, G1 and G2, have been identified with B1 being the most toxic, carcinogenic and prevalent. We test every batch of each plant-based ingredient for all four aflatoxins.

Rancidity Markers

All oil-based products are tested for primary oxidation by-products (peroxide levels) and secondary oxidation by-products (anisidine levels). A high level of either is indicative of rancidity of long chain fatty acids. We always test for both compounds since a low level of one compound can mask a high level of the other.

Dioxins & Dioxin-Like Compounds

Dioxin is a generic term used to describe a family of 210 compounds. We test all fish oil products for the most dangerous of this family -- the 17 members characterized by the presence of chlorine atoms in the 2, 3, 7, and 8 positions. Each of those 2, 3, 7, 8-substituted congeners has been assigned a Toxic Equivalent Factor (TEF), which is used for the computation of the Toxic Equivalency Quotient (TEQ). This scale is used in risk assessment studies to calculate the probability of causing cancer and other life threatening diseases in humans.


Each fish oil is tested for PCB exposure with a parts-per-trillion assay method and very strict acceptance criteria. PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are no longer produced in the United States, but are still found in the environment. Health effects that have been associated with exposure to PCBs include acne-like skin conditions in adults and neurobehavioral and immunological changes in children. PCBs are known to cause cancer in animals. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has concluded that PCBs are reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens. The EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have determined that PCBs are probably carcinogenic to humans.

The Final Pieces

Label Claim Potency: All finished products are tested for potency to verify the label claim, ensuring the appropriate strength of each batch.

Microbiology Contamination: Not only do we test all of our raw materials for microbiology, we also test all of our products for a microbiology panel that includes total aerobic bacterial count, yeast and mold counts, Salmonella species, E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

Product Expiration Date & Stability Testing

We publish expiration dates based on third-party test data to support each expiration date. To authenticate this dating on an ongoing basis, we put our products through analytical and microbiological tests as well as visual inspections at multiple points throughout the shelf-life.