Super green supplements — we know so little about them, yet we are so willing to consume! Studies about the actual tangible benefits of super green supplements are still quite limited, and lots of companies do not disclose their special proprietary “blends”.
There is a lack of transparency in the market, but people will still shell out an average of $80 a month for the supposed benefits of these supplements.
Amidst all this lack of information, there is another glaring question that demands to be answered — how are these super greens supplements made?
While some companies release their ingredient lists — and if they’re extra generous, even the dosages per ingredient — nobody actually reveals the manufacturing process of super green supplements. It’s so important to know how your supplements are being produced, as these potentially potent ingredients are being put into your body.
In this article, we’re going to break down how super greens supplements are made. Take note, every manufacturer has its’ own methods of production, but this is a general idea of the process taken from ingredient to bottle of powder delivered to your door!
Development of Blends
Green supplements are often backed up by names of nutritionists or dieticians who claim to have found their own superior blend. The first step in creating a super green supplement is, of course, to develop a unique and special blend of superfood ingredients. After all, it is the benefits of the ingredients that make the product so appealing!
Some of the common ingredients in green supplements include spirulina, chlorella, spinach, and kale. Spirulina is a algae, which sounds weird, but is proven to be very beneficial. It has very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (1).
Chlorella is another alga that contains a lot of nutrients like protein and vitamins, and also boasts detoxing properties (2).
Spinach (finally a familiar name!) is a known superfood, full of fiber and lots of vitamins (3). Kale, another superfood vegetable and common fixture of models’ diets, is full of antioxidants and Vitamin K (4).
Of course, all manufacturers have different blends, but these are a few of the common ingredients you will see!
Purchase of Ingredients
The second step in creating a super green is purchasing ingredients. Companies source for ingredients through purchasing agents, who are continuously on the lookout for the best quality materials on the market. This will be determined by whatever blend is to be made (5).
Some manufacturers choose to produce their own raw ingredients in order to control the quality themselves.
Preliminary Checks and Tests
When the raw materials are delivered from the supplier to the manufacturer, the manufacturer will conduct a series of laboratory tests on the ingredients. Sometimes, the raw ingredients will come with a Certificate of Analysis from the supplier, which will state the potency of the ingredient. Most manufacturers will conduct their own tests for other factors like contamination anyway, either through an in-house laboratory or an outsourced one.
A reputable manufacturer will prioritize quality, health, and hygiene above all when raw ingredients are received. They will do a full scan and inspection of the transportation vehicle for any signs of bacteria or other contaminants. They will also do a specific analysis of each and every ingredient delivered to check its’ purity and potency. Other tests will include testing for heavy metals and microbes.
If an ingredient is not up to the desired standard of strength or is contaminated, a good manufacturer will not accept it and source for a better option. This goes the same for manufacturers who produce their own raw foods — any harvest that is not up to standard should not be used (6).
Since there are so many different ingredients with their own special ways of extracting its’ goodness, it is absolutely pertinent for Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) to be undertaken (7). The facility in which a reputable green supplement is produced must be GMP-certified. A GMP certification ensures that:
The nutritional label matches the actual process — all ingredients, potency, purity, and safety is accurately identified. Sufficient documentation is done throughout the production process so that if there is any problem or defect, it can be traced back to a source.
If the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does a check and finds any signs of malpractice — such as illegal/toxic substances, inaccurate labeling, unsanitary practices, and contamination — a facility faces the risk of being shut down if changes are not made within 15 days (8).
Raw vegetables, herbs, and fruits are harvested and are processed differently to extract their nutrients. For example, Brussel sprouts undergo grinding, alfalfa is pressed and the juice is separated from the pulp. Depending on the ingredients or laboratory tests, the pre-blending of certain ingredients might be done beforehand.
The ingredients are then dried at low temperatures to preserve the nutrients. Once dried, the ingredients are then weighed out according to the dosages of the blend. This is an extremely critical step as it determines how much of each ingredient goes into the final product. mixed, and added to this are binding and processing aids. The sort of binding aids can vary, but natural binding agents include honey and arabic gum.
A process known as wet granulation might be used. The powder mixture will be mixed with cellulose particles, wetted, and then put in a dryer. The end result will be granules that are put through a mill to grind it into a fine powder (9).
At this point, the mixture will be in its’ final powdered form and ready for packaging!
Volumetric fillers are used to ensure that an accurate amount of powder is put into each package. Containers and packets are then labeled before being stored for shipping. Once a mixture goes into the packaging — which should obviously be sanitized — no human hands can touch it or it will be considered contaminated. The final packaged product will then be ready for delivery!
Reputable brands would never sell you a product past its shelf life. If a product is stored beyond the recommended time, it should be thrown out.
The manufacturing process of super green supplements is still largely a mystery as manufacturers differ between production processes and blends. However, you can protect yourself as a customer by doing research on different brands! The best brands would be those that are transparent with their ingredient lists and blends.
We can’t exactly storm a production facility and demand to see how they produce these supplements, but hopefully, this article gives you a little more insight into the world of manufacturing nutritional supplements!
At SuperGreen TONIK we’re keen on full transparency, which is why we adhere to full disclosure labelling. So, you can make an informed choice and understand what you’re taking when drinking your daily super greens supplement.