Researchers at the University of Guelph have developed a new DNA technique to identify if contaminants are present in natural health products with more than one ingredient, like natural medicines, and can even be used to test food quality.
The technique was first tested in a recent study on Chinese Patent Medicine, or Chinese medicine that comes in pill, tablet, and capsule forms, 80 per cent of which was found to contain ingredients that were not on the label.
“This is quite a breakthrough for industry,” said Steven Newmaster, a professor at Guelph’s integrative biology department and co-author of the study, which was published in Nature, a top-tier scientific journal.
“Before the study you wouldn’t be able to take the mixture and disentangle all the species and say they’re there for quality testing. Now you can,” he said.
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