Posted by Nick Telesca in Product Information
Estimated reading time: 7mins
To most, we are probably given an impression when reading these two words that the ingredient could be fit for Pharmacy medicine, ie; “such is the grade of the product that it could probably be clean enough for Pharmaceutical use.”
If that’s what has ever crossed your mind, you’d be 100% correct!
More on that in just a moment.
What makes something a “Pharmaceutical Grade” product? This is determined by a book released annually called the Pharmacopoeia.
Pharmacopoeias provide standards for pharmaceutical substances and medicinal products.
The Pharmacopoeia deals with the purity and quality of an ingredient and sets the standards high. If an ingredient is to be labelled “Pharmaceutical Grade” the product must be in excess of 99% purity with no binders, fillers, excipients, dyes, or unknown substances while maintaining strict quality control.
While Australia hasn’t got it’s own Pharmacopoeia, we’ve adopted the British and USA standards. This is the ‘British Pharmacopoeia’ (BP) and the ‘United States Pharmacopeia’ (USP). So if a product is labeled “BP” or “USP” Grade, it’s another way of saying it’s “Pharmaceutical Grade” and applies to Australian standards. A closer look at our Therapeutic Goods Act (the “TGA”) shows a little closer in favour of the adoption of the British Pharmacopoeia.
So if Bulk Nutrients sell Pharmaceutical Grade amino acids, does that mean this is the same grade being used by actual Pharmaceutical companies? You bet it is! In fact, our suppliers not only supply us but also the biggest brands in Pharmaceuticals across Australia and the US!
Yes, the bag of BCAAs you have at home right now and drink at every workout are from the same people supplying Pharmaceutical companies Australia wide and internationally at the exact same quality they would supply for medical use. To put this into perspective further, If a Pharmaceutical company were to need BCAAs for whatever reason to make their next product, the ones you have at home will be the exact same ones they too will receive!
Having said all the above, it is important to note that no matter where a Pharmaceutical / USP / BP Graded ingredient comes from, the quality cannot be worse just because it is made in an Asian country. An ingredient made to Pharmaceutical standards in China will be the same Pharmaceutical Grade stamped product made in Australia, Europe, the US etc.
There is no purity or grade which is higher than this.
Yes, our amino acids are from China, however so are those supplied by 99% of other supplement companies. So in other words, the amino acids you have used or are currently using from other companies, are almost surely manufactured in China. The popular brands located in Australia, NZ, U.S, Europe etc almost exclusively use Chinese Sourced Amino Acids, this includes large popular brands (with very expensive pricing) as well as generic brands.
Some people assume that as they are buying from a name brand and paying a premium, they are getting amino’s sourced from elsewhere. This is not the case. Unless the supplier specifically details that their amino acids are sourced from elsewhere.
If you have been using amino acids or products containing them (pre workout, recovery formulas from leading brands) it is very likely you are consuming Chinese made amino acids.
Unfortunately there is this notion that anything that comes from China is of poor quality. This is certainly not true. Although goods manufactured in China have always had a bit of a reputation of being ‘cheap rip offs,’ over the last decade China has become far more westernised. Chinese companies realise that to supply Western markets they need to be able to produce high quality goods, and we have been very careful selecting our suppliers to ensure we are buying the highest grade products by the true definition of the word “Pharmaceutical Grade” set by the Pharmacopoeia book.
We will often get asked why we choose to go with China.
Chinese pharmaceutical amino acids are utilised by companies as they are world class and very cost effective. These amino acids (the same ones used by us as well as the major brand companies) are all made to the highest pharmaceutical standards. Many years ago, manufacturing of aminos in other countries was more common however now the standard from China is so high, very few companies use aminos sourced elsewhere.
Millions of dollars have been spent designing these state of the art facilities, with hundreds of tonnes being shipped to the U.S and Europe every month.
You would be forgiven to think that seeing our suppliers are all the way over in China that our relationship with them extends to as much as emails and perhaps the occasional international call but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our relationship is so close that we take regular trips to their factory annually. Before we had even decided on a supplier, we made the trip over to see and inspect their factory with our own eyes. We continue to do this every year.
We have been dealing with the same suppliers/manufacturers for more than a decade and before accepting any batch we scrutinise all assay reports or ‘Certificates of Analysis’ (COAs). We also have an in house spectrometer, so we can test all batches against world wide libraries of spectral patterns to ensure they are the pure, quality product we will always supply. We have had batches independently tested in the past, and the analysis from the independent tests are always completely consistent with those from the suppliers.
Unlike virtually every other company, we are happy to supply spec sheets to our customers (COA’s) if you would like to see them. Our guarantee is that the quality of our amino acids are equal or better than anything you will source elsewhere – irrespective of price. If you are not 100% satisfied with the quality, we are happy to offer a full refund. We even welcome lab testing of any of our products. Our guarantee and confidence is such that your results will always match the COA provided by our suppliers 99%+ just as a Pharmaceutical Grade product should be.