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Bulk Nutrients' Lab Testing FAQs

At Bulk Nutrients, we understand the significance of protein testing when it comes to health and fitness supplements.

We take our products’ purity very seriously.

As a leading provider of Australia's purest supplements at affordable prices, we take pride in our commitment to quality and transparency. We believe that regular and rigorous protein testing is crucial, even though it is not compulsory in our industry.

For nearly a decade, we have consistently conducted protein quality lab tests, and we have the evidence to back it up. On our website, you can find lab test reports dating back to 2014, showcasing hundreds of results. We go above and beyond by conducting independent lab testing every month through the National Measurement Institute (NMI), a trusted third-party. This, combined with comprehensive microbiological testing for safety, ensures that our protein claims are accurate and consistent.

What sets us apart is our unmatched transparency. We prioritise consistent and frequent testing and proudly publish the results for all to see. You won't need to ask us (you shouldn’t have to) for lab test reports because we believe in providing them proactively. We want you to make informed decisions as a consumer, and we believe that transparency is key.

As part of our dedication to transparency, we offer a free protein testing service. No other company has ever offered this service, and it has helped hundreds of Australian consumers determine the accuracy of their purchased protein products. We believe that you deserve to know what you're getting, and our testing service ensures just that.

When it comes to displaying the results, we adhere to the "as is" approach, not the often misleadingly presented "dry basis" method. We believe in honesty and accurate representation of our products' protein levels, aligning with FSANZ standards.

We also encourage you to take control of your own protein testing. We offer an independent testing service where you can send a sample of any protein you've purchased directly to the NMI lab for verification. This unique service allows you to ensure the accuracy of your protein products, giving you peace of mind.

By choosing Bulk Nutrients, you support our commitment to transparency, quality, and the highest standards of protein testing. We believe that together, we can drive positive change in the industry by demanding transparency from all brands. Join us in making a difference and experience the assurance of consistent quality and honest information.

View our FAQ below to learn more about our protein testing process.

How does lab testing set Bulk Nutrients apart from the rest?

While some companies occasionally offer lab testing, here at Bulk Nutrients we have always prioritised regular testing to ensure we can show that our products have been consistently tested and that our claims about our products are legitimate.

Frequency
Every month at least 4 of our proteins are lab tested for protein percentage - this is in addition to all the microbiological testing we do to ensure the safety of the food products we produce.

These protein tests show we consistently have results to back up our protein claims. We continue to do these tests as they allow us to show our dedication to quality and ensure we are constantly delivering the public the purest products possible.

Transparency
All Bulk Nutrients lab testing reports include a product name, flavour, batch number and use-by date.

Identifying every test conducted means customers receive the same products that are lab-tested. While not every batch is lab tested, it demonstrates we continually test a thorough cross-section.

We want customers to be completely assured, that our products which are tested are the same ones they are purchasing.

History of Testing
While frequency is important, the length of time our testing has occurred is important. Bulk Nutrients protein quality lab tests have been regularly occurring for more than 10 years which is why you can see lab test reports which go back to 2010 and earlier on various products.

This combination of disclosure, frequency and a lengthy history of lab testing is unique to Bulk Nutrients.

How are protein lab tests conducted at Bulk Nutrients?

The lab tests of our proteins are all done the same way:

  • After our production team makes a run of product our finished goods are all transferred to our holding and dispatch areas at Bulk Nutrients.
  • Our Quality Assurance manager then takes a random bag off the shelf into our internal laboratory and separates a 60g sample in a sealed container. They complete the paperwork which matches the sample with its manufacturing date, batch number and other details.
  • The sample/s are sent to NMI laboratories (NATA accredited lab) with the enclosed paperwork, via Australia Post.
  • Once the samples are received, NMI transfers the paperwork details into their system and tests the sample. They use the industry standard Kjeldahl test which measures the total nitrogen of the product.
  • NMI stores a retention sample (as do we) so we can repeat testing should we ever need to.
  • A multiplication is then conducted dependent on the type of protein tested; the result is a value for the total protein level.
  • This is the same system used by dairies and manufacturers of the raw product and is considered the industry standard for protein testing.

Why is "as is" the correct way to display the results, rather than "dry basis"?

"As is" is a protein test that measures and verifies the protein level "as is" ie exactly how you receive it. This is the form that includes some moisture and whatever fats and carbohydrates are naturally present. It is important to note all our protein testing is done this way.

We understand that some companies quote "dry basis" for their products for protein levels and lab tests, which is not consistent with FSANZ standards. Quoting "dry basis" raises the protein level of the test and inflates the number, something we consider to be misleading.

If we quoted "dry basis" all our products would appear to be 4-6% higher in protein, so keep this in mind if comparing to a competitor’s lab test – or if they suggest "as is" shows far lower than their labels state (it shouldn’t).

How regular are the protein lab tests at Bulk Nutrients?

We rotate through our products and flavours to ensure testing across the whole range. We test part of our range every month, and we also ensure to do more frequent tests if we change our protein supply.

Our lab testing is far more thorough than just protein verification, we regularly test for microbiological levels and other factors which demonstrate our products comply with all health and safety standards. It is the protein testing we tend to talk more about as it interests customers.

How do I know the results you publish are accurate?

By publishing an extensive history of lab testing over many years where every product tested is properly identified, we feel we demonstrate this well.

Bulk Nutrients' history of testing shows a pattern of accuracy and by using the same test methods and the same NATA accredited government lab (NMI) it is very consistent.

We also offer customers the opportunity to test our products by sending samples directly to NMI laboratories. Customers and non-customers can utilise the same testing service to verify any brand of product they purchase – unless we already have plenty of data on that brand.

Why do the results on your website do not always match your claimed specs?

Virtually all of the lab tests displayed on our website are within 3% of the claimed spec, which we have evaluated as a high level of accuracy. If products fall outside of this, we take action to rectify the issue whether it be label updates or thorough checks on the raw goods going into the product.

Numbers can be down due to a change in supplier, a minor recipe adjustment or less likely a case of seasonal condition changes with raw stock. Seasonal changes do affect protein percentage but these are minor.

It should be noted that all our declared protein levels are "best case" so it's very rare the test results would exceed what we list. If recipe changes or raw good changes affect the nutritional panel of a product, these are always updated in a timely fashion.

How do your amino acid tables fit in and are these always accurate?

Amino Acid tables are complex!

The amino tables we display are provided by the manufacturers and curiously they rarely add up to the actual protein level. If you look carefully, most are based on "100g of actual protein", rather than "100g of protein powder" (protein powders are 75% to 90% protein).

Dairies and raw manufacturers provide their amino tables based on averages, so these are not regularly tested. We recommend people use these as a guide and realise they are protein type specific and not brand specific.

Ie, Whey from any brand will always have higher BCAA levels than plant proteins, Collagen will always have far higher Glycine levels than other types of protein. The exception to this is when companies add amino acids separately to their proteins to boost certain values.

Once you have selected the type of protein you want, the amino acid levels of that product will almost always be relative to its total protein. Ie, if Bulk Nutrients WPI is 3% higher than another brand it will likely contain 3% more leucine, valine and phenylalanine (and other amino acids) as total protein is a combination of all the amino acids present.

If you want to compare one company's WPI to another, stick to the protein level on the nutritional panel. If you want to compare which type of protein you want to buy, ie casein, whey, or collagen, compare the amino acid tables to each other using the same company's website.

How can I have a product lab tested?

As our research indicated many companies were severely underdosing their proteins, we decided to offer a service where consumers could send a sample of any protein they’ve purchased directly to NMI lab testing for verification.

This has helped hundreds of Australian consumers know whether they have been buying accurately labelled protein, a service that no other company has ever offered.

If you would like your protein lab tested, you'll need to follow the process below.

Customer Protein Testing FAQs

How do I get my protein tested?

Simply contact us at proteintest@bulknutrients.com.au, and organise your paperwork (we supply all forms), you then carefully package your sample (approximately 30g) and once complete, send it directly to NMI Laboratories.

You pay the minor postage costs, nothing else. 

But if you are testing the protein, how can it be unbiased?

We don't test the protein ourselves, nor do we test protein from other companies.

You send your protein directly to Australia’s largest and most legitimate laboratory – The National Measurement Institute. By using this trusted third-party, the results are completely unbiased as neither we or anyone else has any part in the testing.

Bulk Nutrients simply pays the bill, which allows the public to test products at no cost to them. Who else can say they do that?

How long does it take to get protein results back from the lab?

When the laboratory receives the samples, you should receive your results within 14 days.

All results are emailed to us (which are forwarded directly to you). If you'd like to receive the results directly from NMI when we do, just let us know before you send your sample to the laboratory and your email address can be added to the paperwork.

How do I know my protein is tested accurately?

By sending your protein directly to the laboratory with your signed document, you are ensuring that no one has opened the product but you.

NMI will make note of any protein that looks as if it has been tampered with in the postal process.

Why do I have to sign a declaration? That sounds quite serious.

The reason Bulk Nutrients funds these tests is that we want to get a truly clear understanding of the market, as well as an opportunity to educate the customer on the accuracy of the product they have purchased.

We are effectively compiling a lengthy document which is an integral piece of information for us. By signing a document, you are making it clear that the sample you provide to the laboratory matches the product you have purchased.

The declaration also protects companies in the case that someone may consider sending in a “tampered” sample. Think of it in the same way as when you sign a non-dangerous goods declaration when you send something in the post or board a plane.

Who are NMI Laboratories, and how do I know these tests are legitimate?

NMI stands for the “National Measurement Institute”. This is a Government Department that does a vast range of scientific testing. This is taken from their website:

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) is Australia's peak measurement body responsible for biological, chemical, legal, physical and trade measurement. Click here to download a brochure which explains what we do. We are a division within the Department of Industry.

Our vision is to deliver capability for measurement in Australia that is world class, increases national economic efficiency, enhances export trade prospects, empowers sound environmental regulation, and enables effective social and health policies.

Can I only test protein I have bought, how about stuff I got for free, or even samples?

We only allow tests done on products that have been purchased by you.

If you have received a product from someone else (after they have ordered it and opened it) you can no longer guarantee that it hasn’t been tampered with.

Regarding samples, while it's likely most companies would be identical to the products purchased, we only allow testing of products that have been bought and the sales channel clearly shown.

How is the actual protein tested?

NMI uses the industry standard Kjeldahl Nitrogen test for protein. This is the test used by many companies when labelling their goods and is an international standard for measuring protein. Find out more about the technical process of the Kjeldahl Nitrogen test.

Once the level of Nitrogen is determined, the laboratory uses a factor (in the case of dairy which is 6.38) in which the figure is multiplied to find the final protein ratio of a product.

What does “as is’ and “dry basis” mean?

All companies in Australia that manufacture and sell food must abide by legislation for labelling. This labelling ensures that all ingredients are present on a label (in most cases) and that nutritional information (such as protein, fats and carbohydrates) is accurate.

Protein amounts should be declared ‘as is”, this measure represents how you buy the product. Occasionally companies quote a value “dry basis”. This is a theoretical number based on the level of your protein once all moisture is removed.

Declaring protein on a “dry” basis will show a higher reading (usually between 2% and 6%) and is not an accurate reflection of how you buy your product, as your product contains moisture.

A good analogy would be likening it to someone telling you their body weight once fat and water were removed. “Oh, I’m 65kg once you take away my fat and water levels”

Legally, companies should always declare their protein level “as is” (however they may also choose to add the “dry” ratio in addition to this) so this is exactly how NMI test it. As a consumer, it is something to look out for when comparing products in the marketplace.

Despite all the confusion, all you need to know is that what you read on the label should be very close to the results you get back from NMI.

After I have my protein tested what happens to it?

NMI holds all samples and paperwork in case there are any disputes about the results.

This also protects you, the customer, as you can demonstrate that the sample you sent matches the product you have at home, or other samples sent in by others.

We recommend you send in 30 grams of protein, that way you are not losing much of the protein that you purchased, and their is plenty for the NMI to test with some left over. 

How close to what I read on the label should my protein be? 

While Bulk Nutrients guarantees our products are almost always within 2% of spec, many companies' products may be a lot further from spec than this. Every company will have a different guarantee; however, we believe you would likely have rights for a refund if your product were 5% to 10% out of spec. 

In our experience, customers have had quite different responses from companies when they have emailed them about their products being out of spec. In many cases, companies will offer several reasons why their products don’t meet label claims and it will be up to you to decide if these reasons are legitimate or not.

If you are going to test your protein, perhaps consider emailing the company about what guarantees they offer before you have your protein tested, that way, when the results are in, you will already have had an agreement from them.

If you have results from NMI that are significantly lower than stated, we would strongly recommend you email the company. Remember, most companies have their goods made by other larger contracting companies, so some may not even be aware their products are out of spec. By letting them know, you are informing them of an issue and allowing them to ensure they fix this.

If my protein tests low, what are my rights to a refund?

All consumers in Australia are protected by Australian Consumer Law. These laws exist to ensure that consumers in Australia can be assured they are buying goods “fit for purpose” and accurately labelled. If you are specifically buying protein as you believe it is at, or close to 90%, or close to 80% (for example), Australian consumer law protects you.

If your product is what you deem out of spec and you are disappointed with the results, then we would strongly encourage you to email the company you purchased it from. Many will be happy to offer you a refund, however, if they don’t the following page may be helpful to you ACCC Complaints.

What legitimate excuses could a company possibly offer if my protein tests low?

This is a very interesting question, and, in our opinion, there is very little that can justify a “low” test compared to that claimed on the label. Since giving people the opportunity to test their proteins we have seen some highly creative reasons provided and have debunked a few for people.

From companies claiming they received a bad batch of protein (the supplier later confirmed there had been no issues with the protein), to companies claiming that protein denatures or loses potency over time and due to temperature (Fonterra have provided us a statement confirming this is not true).

The fact is massive dairy companies do not supply under-dosed protein, and protein is very stable with a lengthy shelf life. This is exactly why we (and other companies with good practices) have no issues at all guaranteeing what they sell.

Can this really be happening, I mean surely we have laws to protect us from this?

Over 120 lab tests on products purchased from 26 different companies by the public are enough proof that this issue is real. While we are shocked that these issues continue to happen, you need to look at why they do.

Firstly, no legislators routinely check the protein levels of products (we wish they did). We have been manufacturing protein blends for almost 10 years, and not once has protein testing been part of our audit process. The reality is, that if some companies want to substitute carbohydrates or other cheap fillers for their protein, a large proportion of customers will have no idea.

Keep in mind when consumers found out about one particular brand's offence, retrospective tests showed they had been selling WPI which lab tested at just over 40% (while labelled at 93%) for 18 months. Yes, that means thousands of people have been buying massively under-dosed protein for a long time.

Unless consumers, other companies, or anyone else complains (which involves contacting regulators) then companies can and will get away with it. The reality is that cutting protein significantly increases profits. With proteins being such low-margin goods, greedy people will multiply their profits by doing this. Since the protein testing started, we have linked 6 companies to one fraud (where virtually all products were half dosed), but there are plenty more out there doing it on their own.

As much as protein means a lot to you and us, it is still a niche industry, and while food legislators are worrying about people dying from food poisoning and dangerous practices in the industry, “cut” protein isn’t going to be high on their priority list.

That said, The ACCC and various legislators are well aware of this, but it is a slow process. Hopefully things will change in time, but until then let’s make that squeaky wheel as loud as possible!

What can I do to stop this if my protein is underdosed?

If your lab results show your protein is significantly underdosed, you have contacted the company you purchased it from and are unsatisfied with the response, then there are many things you can do.

If you want to contact legislators, we recommend the ACCC and your local food authority/council. Any department will always prefer if you have had correspondence with the company you purchased it from first and they will likely want to see that correspondence when you contact them.

In addition to that, you are 100% within your rights to tell your friends and talk about it on Facebook, forums or wherever. You have purchased a product that has then failed a very legitimate test that determines its worth. Be aware that some companies may attempt to “silence” you with threats if you do speak publicly about this, however, you are well within your rights to speak about it and you'll be doing others a service by doing so.

Also consider the fact that if you have purchased a protein that has tested low, there is a good chance some of those 120+ tests that have been conducted by NMI have been on the same protein as the one you purchased. We do not want to make assumptions about the industry as a whole, but we do want consumers to be aware, and to ensure you're getting what you paid for.

Latest Bulk Nutrients Lab Test Results

Each month we update this page with our latest results, so you can transparently see how pure our proteins are.

Occasionally you may see our proteins out of specification within a 3% margin, due to natural seasonal variations in milk.

On our packaging we join the other companies in the industry and state the best-case scenario when detailing our nutritional information.

You might be interested in our blog Everything you wanted to know about WPI quality but never thought to ask.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Lab testing results - Acetyl L-Carnitine

Lab testing results - L Glutamine

Lab testing results - Magnesium L Aspartate

Lab testing results - NMN

Lab testing results - Vitamin B6

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About Bulk Nutrients

We're an Australian manufacturer and supplier of high quality sports supplements.

Operating since 2008, Bulk Nutrients has become one of the premier Australian brands to supply nutritional products to top level athletes, competitors and those on a journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Find out more about Bulk.

Contact Bulk Nutrients

One thing that sets Bulk Nutrients apart is that we love to talk to our customers!

Whether you need product advice, help with the website or need a change made to your order... call us on +61 3 6266 4725.

If you prefer email you can email us day or night at info@bulknutrients.com.au

For online chat, hit the 'Chat' button in the bottom right hand corner of your screen and you'll be connected to one of our lovely customer service team.

Or if you'd like to get in touch through our online contact form, that's cool too!

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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which our organisation operates, the Melukerdee People of the South East Nation and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Bulk Nutrients is proudly
Australian owned and operated.

7 Crabtree Road, Grove, Tasmania, 7109.
ABN: 17 158 981 447

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