The Challenges: Producing GMO-Free Dietary Supplements

The Challenges: Producing a GMO-Free Dietary Supplement

An undeniable increase in consumer demand for GMO-free foods and dietary supplements has left the nutraceutical industry scrambling to keep up. According to one report, non-GMO foods, beverages, and other consumables are projected to account for 30% of the Untied States’ total food and beverage retail sales by 2017.

One of the primary challenges on the road to creating GMO-free supplements is the fact that it currently requires a near herculean amount of effort to ensure that every component of a dietary supplement’s formulation actually qualifies as non-GMO. Many supplements rely on fairly complex formulations, which in turn, tend to call for a fairly extensive ingredient lists. In many cases, several to many of the ingredients on these lists are derived from or processed with GMOs.

Unfortunately for manufacturers and brand owners looking to go non-GMO, some of the most popular ingredients and components on the market today happen to fall into the ‘high-risk’ category (meaning that they are most likely to be derived from or processed with GMOs).

Here are a few of those high-risk ingredients and components:

  • Amino Acids
  • Aspartame,
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Sodium Ascorbate
  • Vitamin C
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Ethanol
  • Flavorings
  • Colorings
  • Lactic Acid
  • Maltodextrins
  • Molasses
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Sucrose (may be added in children’s supplements)
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Vitamins
  • Yeast Products

For almost all of the ingredients on this list, verifying non-GMO compliance can be a painstaking process. Despite the difficulties that exist when working with high-risk ingredients, manufacturers who can verify that their materials have been derived from non-GMO base components are still difficult to find.

As the industry continues to push towards standardized measures for manufacturing GMO-free supplements, it seems as though real progress and changes will only come about when manufacturers start to adopt non-GMO raw materials and derivatives from the start.

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