Industry Ethics

Dynamic Extractions and Formulations® (DEF®) is an accredited Bio-Prospecting company operating in Southern Africa.

DEF® has and is, concluding benefit sharing agreements with indigenous cultural groups from whom many of today’s medicinal lessons have been learnt.

South Africa has a rich and dense floral kingdom recognised throughout the world.  Of the over 2,000 known species only a handful of plants have been explored and documented. DEF® works with local landowners, universities and cultural groups, to identify key plants and their properties that can contribute to pharmaceutical, Nutriceutical, Cosmoceutical and Functional Food Additive applications.

Extracts are the basis on which quality and high efficacy products can be produced. This is improved through the use of the patented Dynamic Cellular Disruption® method, DEF® can guarantee that molecules extracted are not harmed by heat or chemicals, are stabilised and standardised and therefore perform the job, science and nature intended. We develop and market extracts to the highest specifications and yields at competitive market rates without compromising our standards and philosophy of giving back to cultural groups.

Key things to remember when considering your extract partner and their extracts:

      • 1. Ensure the organisation has a valid Bio-Prospecting Permit issued by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs.
      • 2. Ensure the entity is or has entered into a Material Transfer and Benefit Sharing Agreement(s) in accordance with the Bio-Diversity Act.
      • 3. When necessary ensure that the entity has a CITES certificate or permit to harvest or sell the specific Bio-Diversity.
      • 4. Identify the correct species and sub species of plant material and have this verified by mass spectrometer or HPLC fingerprinting.
      • 5. Identify the correct active molecule or groups of molecules and use the correct testing standard to determine whether you are purchasing the correct materials and purity (only test them by means of Mass Spec, HPLC, Galic acid or TROLOX equivalency NOT via Photo Spectrometer or Thin Layer Chromatography).
      • 6. Always have your raw materials tested for Heavy Metals, Aflatoxins and Micro-organisms contamination.
      • 7. Do not always rely on the Certificate of Analysis issued by suppliers.


Example: A Case Study for Devils Claw

The most important factor to bear in mind when choosing any raw material is that somewhere in a lab, scientists have determined that “X” amount of this particular material at a specific strength of a specific molecule or grouping of molecules is needed to achieve the desired physiological benefit.

These scientists have spent months or years and tens of thousands or millions of dollars to determine what it is in the specific raw material that has the health benefit(s). By way of example let’s look at Devils Claw.

      1. It is vital to be sure of what species of raw material you are looking for. In the case of Devils Claw (Harpagophytum) there are literally dozens of species from which to choose. The only species however that have been identified to produce the highest amount of active material called Harpagoside is the Harpagophytum Procumbens. Therefore the only species that all the clinical studies have been done on is with Harpagophytum Procumbens.

(THUS the first and most important thing to remember is to be 100% sure you have identified the correct species of raw material you are interested in.

A Mass Spectrometer or High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) should be used to identify that the correct species or sub species is being used.)

      1. Now identify what the active molecule or grouping of molecules is within this particular material that requires analysis and how much of the ‘active’ ingredient is required.  In the case of Harpagophytum Procumbens the active molecule we are looking for is HARPAGOSIDE. Numerous clinical studies have shown that 50mg per day of Harpagoside is effective in the treatment of inflammatory conditions and can be used to complement and or replace steroidal or non steroidal anti-inflammatory products. It also has no effect on stomach ulcers.
      1. Before these ‘actives’ can be tested we need to look at the various testing options and how accurate each of them is. Mass Spectrometer and HPLC machinery are 99.9% accurate. Each molecule luminessces at a very specific wave length on the Ultra Violet scale which varies from 10nm to 400nm. In the case of Harpagoside it shows up on the UV scale at 280 nano meters. BUT it is important to note that in the case of Harpagophytum Procumbens at 280nm exactly 23 molecules are shown on the Mass spectrometer and on the HPLC only if a 99.999% pure control standard is available, can the individual molecules be correctly identified and also quantified.

In the case of a Photo Spectrometer which can also be set to illuminate at 280nm ALL 23 molecules are shown as one in a single curve. In the case of Harpagophytum Procumbens this leads to a four fold detection error. In other words on a Photo Spectrometer the active Harpagoside in Harpagophytum Procumbens measures four times higher than on a mass spectrometer or HPLC.

In the case of TLC or thin layer chromatography, every single molecule from 10nm to 400nm is lumped under the same measurement and in the case of Harpagophytum Procumbens the active molecule Harpagoside is measured incorrectly with a factor of 10. THUS if the active Harpagoside is measured on mass spectrometer or HPLC at 1% purity, it will measure 4% on Photo spectrometer and 10% on TLC. SO in essence only use Mass Spectrometer or HPLC analysis to determine whether you are buying the correct material with the correct purity.

    1. When measuring Polyphenols or ORAC values it is critical to only use the following testing standards. In the case of polyphenols the Galic Acid equivalency standard is to be used and in the case of ORAC measurements only the TROLOX equivalency method is to be used. This will ensure that the polyphenols and ORAC measurement are 99.9% accurate and conform to international standards.

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