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Transparency in quality control process
8/1/2018 8:25 AM
Food safety has been at the top of the FDA’s concerns for many years. With that came FSMA, FSVP, HARPC, PCQI and other acronyms, most of which come with chapters of new rules to play by. At ingredientsonline.com™, we don’t stop at just safety; quality, safety and consistency are our utmost priorities. In order to embody these fundamentals and ultimately foster trusting relationships with our customers, we have developed a robust QA/QC process to ensure the quality of service we provide. We validate our manufacturers and outsource testing to accredited labs to verify the quality of our factory partners and ingredients.
1. Factory qualifiacation
With ingredient suppliers located in various countries around the world, establishing factory qualification programs can be an extremely daunting, albeit a necessary task. Before we even bring a factory onto the ingredientsonline.com™ platform, they must undergo and pass a thorough inspection process to become “qualified.” Our audit checklist reviews everything from site security to production procedures, to testing verification and compliance certifications. We review every procedure related to cGMPs, food safety and hazard analyses. Audits and inspections are meticulously carried out for both new and existing factory partners.
2. Ingredient qualification
When a factory approaches us and says they’d like to put an ingredient on the platform, the first thing we do is give them a checklist of required documents: specification sheets, SDS’s, manufacturing flow charts, etc. We review all these documents before we approve the ingredient. Additionally, we understand the importance of these documents so they will be conveniently downloadable on the platform. Our goal is to provide supply-chain teams with as much information as possible on every ingredient. Since we’ve already established a relationship with the factory during their qualification process, any additional information that might be needed is just a couple of emails away.
3. Pre-shipment testing and inspection
Our China-based Quality Control Unit reviews and approves shipments before sending them to the U.S. to ensure specification compliance. We even perform physical and microbial contamination tests in our China-based lab on random samples to verify manufacturer-supplied data. Once the ingredients arrive at our U.S. warehouses, our local team performs a secondary inspection to ensure the product and its packaging have not been compromised during transit.
4. Material Quality and consistency
We understand that above all else, the quality of the material and adherence to specifications are imperative. In order to establish quality, there needs to be consistency in practice and process. For that reason, we select random samples from our inventory and submit them to a battery of rigorous tests: identification, assay, constituent claims, heavy metal contamination, etc. We partner with accredited third party U.S. laboratories to perform these tests for us. Each compliant result strengthens the confidence of our factory partners even after they’ve been qualified.
5. Warehousing and customized shipping
Since ingredientsonline.com™ does not perform manufacturing operations, cGMPs remain the manufacturers’ responsibilities. However, we can control how we store the products as you’re adding them to your cart. Our warehouses are meticulously arranged to minimize cross-contamination. Your customized shipping needs are never compromised. We carefully record your shipping instructions on each purchase order and make sure each request is fulfilled on time. We also perform three independent checks on each shipment before they leave our docks, verifying a match between the staged product and requested order. Every ingredientsonline.com™ customer can trust that they will receive what they ordered, how they ordered it… every order, every time.
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ingredientsonline.com™ is dedicated to providing high quality ingredients and accurate documentation, however, any documentation provided by or testing performed by/for ingredientsonline.com™ does not absolve the customer from doing their due-diligence regarding the quality of the ingredients they purchase.