Chromatography Testing – Ensuring Potent, Safe, and Effective Herbal Products for Australian Consumers

Chromatography Testing – Ensuring Potent, Safe, and Effective Herbal Products for Australian Consumers

One of the key concerns with herbal supplements like Tongkat Ali is consistent and predictable levels of bioactive components, which is key to its efficacy, safety, and potency. Chromatography testing is essential for detecting impurities, verifying ingredient purity, and confirming the presence of bioactive components. The best Tongkat Ali supplements sold in Australia have their raw ingredients tested from batch to batch to ensure discerning consumers get exactly what they’re paying for.

In this article, we will explore how chromatography testing is an essential part of the process for maintaining the quality of herbal supplements and why Tongkat Ali that is chromatography tested should be the top choice for Australian consumers.

What is Chromatography?

Chromatography, a widely utilized technique in laboratory settings, serves to separate chemical components from fluid mixtures. Various forms exist for different purposes, including Liquid Chromatography, Gas Chromatography, Thin-Layer Chromatography, and Paper Chromatography. Each method offers unique advantages and applications, enabling scientists to analyze and isolate substances with precision and efficiency.

This technique isn't just used in pharmaceutical or nutraceutical products; it's widespread across various fields. You've probably seen it on forensic crime TV shows, where investigators use it to analyze clues like blood at crime scenes.

The idea behind chromatography is to break down the molecular structure of a substance into different groups of similar compounds. When done correctly, this process helps identify and analyze various components, whether they're bioactive or not.

For example, in High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) performed on Tongkat Ali roots, each vertical bar on the chromatography film represents a sample. The different shades indicate the levels of bioactive compounds in each sample.

The chromatography image samples above show irregularities in two out of eight samples of Tongkat Ali roots. Can you spot the ones that don't meet quality standards? Look for darker shades indicating lower levels of bioactive compounds like eurycomanone. These are visible in the second and third samples from the right.

Chromatography is vital in many key aspects of modern life. It's used to detect contaminants like PCBs in waste oil and pesticides. For instance, the EPA in the US uses it to test drinking water, while suppliers use it for bottled mineral water. Liquid chromatography is also employed to monitor pollution levels in lakes and rivers.

Here are four key reasons why it is crucial to conduct chromatography testing on herbs like Tongkat Ali before extraction:

1. No Two Roots are the Same

Just like humans, plants like Tongkat Ali each have their unique qualities. Even if two plants look identical, they can have differences in things like height and leaf size. Similarly, Tongkat Ali roots vary in their levels of crucial bioactive compounds like eurycomanone, eurypeptides, polysaccharides, and glycosaponins.

To ensure consistent quality in extracts, it's crucial to use standardized extraction methods. For example, a high-quality extract should contain a specific range of percentages for key bioactive compounds. Harvesting Tongkat Ali in optimal growing environments, like deep in tropical rainforest, is essential for obtaining the most potent roots. However, this process comes with challenges including variations in plant quality. To address this, there's a need for standardized regulations in harvesting, testing, and extraction.

By combining chromatography with advanced extraction methods, such as patented and standardized hot-water root extraction, the pharmacological benefits of Tongkat Ali products can remain predictable and consistent for further research as well as for the benefit of discerning consumers. The best extraction facilities adhere to strict standards to ensure the purity and potency of Tongkat Ali extract.

2. Effective Bioactive Natural Product

Tongkat Ali is an herb, distinct from synthetic drugs like sildenafil, which are created artificially in labs with consistent molecular properties via chemical synthesis. Unlike the quick-acting effects of sildenafil, plant-based solutions like Tongkat Ali require a bit more time to achieve optimal results, but will provide a host of holistic benefits that accumulate after consistent supplementation.

As a plant-based dietary supplement, Tongkat Ali interacts with its surroundings as it grows among other flora and fauna. To harness its best properties, it's essential to let Tongkat Ali grow naturally in its native habitat with optimal environmental conditions.

Ideally, Tongkat Ali thrives in climates where it is natively grown, such as the tropical rainforests in Malaysia. High levels of biodiversity, nutrient-dense soil, and access to clean water are crucial, with an annual rainfall of 2,000-3,000 mm being optimal. On average, Tonqkat Ali needs at least five years to mature and accumulate ideal levels of bioactive components in its roots.

Despite marketing claims of generic producers, extracting natural bioactive compounds from herbs is no small feat. Without proper processes like chromatography fingerprinting to analyze these components, herbal products may be ineffective or worse, contaminated with unwanted adulterants from unscrupulous manufacturers or even the environment.

3. Identifying Impurities & Contaminants

Even the best Tongkat Ali plants, thriving in Malaysia's rainforests, are vulnerable to contamination from unexpected sources like pests, weather events, or human interference. These factors can compromise the plant's quality during harvesting.

Chromatography serves as a useful tool for detecting impurities and contamination in herbal products. Responsible manufacturers regularly monitor the quality of their extracts by sampling raw materials batch to batch upon arrival at the extraction facility.

The results below, for example, show Tongkat Ali root samples with high levels of bioactive properties and minimal impurities or human contamination:

The HPLC results reveal prominent peaks indicating a high concentration of bioactive properties between the 8th and 12th minutes after subjecting the Tongkat Ali root to testing. This distinctive profile is characteristic of high-quality raw Tongkat Ali, facilitating its identification and quantification during quality monitoring.

In contrast, immature or poorly sourced raw Tongkat Ali ingredients typically lack such a profile, making it difficult to identify and quantify bioactive compounds. This is crucial for quality monitoring and ensuring the efficacy of Tongkat Ali products when analyzed using liquid chromatography. The concentration of bioactive compounds can vary significantly when the plant is obtained from unreliable suppliers or questionable sources.

Identifying Low Quality Suppliers

The herbal or dietary supplements industry has become a booming billion-dollar business, with an estimated market size of $86.84 billion as of 2022. This gargantuan growth has led some to exploit this growth by producing cheap and low-quality products. Since 2010, the prevalence of counterfeit medications sold online has skyrocketed from 44% to 90%, with sexual dysfunction treatments being the most common.

Furthermore, the FDA in the United States has banned many products claiming to be Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) due to adulteration with sildenafil analogues. Such actions not only tarnish the reputation of genuine high-quality Tongkat Ali, but could also lead to unwanted side-effects of health issues for consumers.

Here are some common cost-saving tactics used by unscrupulous suppliers of generic or fake Tongkat Ali products:

By using chromatography fingerprinting, genuine manufacturers can quickly identify any untoward practices associated with questionably-sourced Tongkat Ali, preventing potential risks before they become significant problems. Proactive steps, like black-listing unreliable suppliers and implementing effective quality controls, are crucial to address these issues head on. One good recommended industry best practice is to test each 100kg of raw harvested Tongkat Ali to ensure quality.

Parting Words

Premium Tongkat Ali is valued highly for both its scarcity and multitude of clinically proven health benefits. While not all plants are created equal, advancements in technology like chromatography testing have allowed trusted producers to extract standardized and consistently potent forms of these natural treasures. For Australians seeking top-notch herbal products, chromatography testing and standardized extraction methods offer a promising and predictable road forward.

If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of chromatography-tested standardized hot-water root extract, try our dose-optimized capsules, available anywhere in Australia.

Learn More or Contact Us

Learn more about the best Tongkat Ali in Australia here, or email us at if you have any queries or concerns.

Alief Acmal, a committed contributor to AKARALI, offers insightful narratives covering the realms of lifestyle, culture, and health-focused content in Malaysia. Through a blend of creativity and meticulous research, Alief provides a unique lens on various aspects of life. Immerse yourself in his compelling body of work for an enriching exploration.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Annie George

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