Sports nutrition and dietary supplement products certified by Informed Protein undergo a rigorous protein supplement certification process, consisting of four stages:
Prior to protein supplement certification, a certification agreement will be issued along with a program pack, which explains the details of the program and provides guidelines of how the Informed Protein logo may be used once certification is complete. The Member company applying for certification must send in product labels to the Informed Protein marketing team for approval of all logo use - products may not be retailed bearing the Informed Protein logo until the entire certification process is complete.
A comprehensive picture of the product is built up and reviewed to understand factors such as product branding and integrity, product variants, retail plans, product testing schedules, and manufacturing facilities. At this stage, the product formulations are reviewed in detail by experienced assessors to establish the types of protein used, the amount of protein included in the formulation, and protein levels on the packaging label.
A review of the procedures in place at relevant manufacturing facilities is then undertaken via a paper-based assessment. This process is managed by experienced assessors, who provide guidance on how to meet the required standards of the Informed Protein program.
This stage of the protein supplement certification process includes a manufacturer assessment of the following:
Prior to Informed Protein supplement certification, LGC must test three samples across a minimum of three production runs/batches. All samples are tested for total protein (via the determination of total nitrogen), total carbon, free amino acids, and a range of nitrogen-rich adulterants (e.g. melamine and associated analogues). All samples must meet 100% of protein label claim for certification.
Heavy Metal and Pesticide testing must also be carried out by a qualified laboratory and submitted to LGC for review.
This stage will be carried out in parallel with the product and manufacturing review (stage one).
Once stages one and two are complete and any resulting actions have been closed out, the product will be accepted for certification with Informed Protein. An Informed Protein certificate will be issued, after which time the new Member company may use the Informed Protein logo in association with the certified product. The Member company will be provided with the 'Informed Protein Brand Standards' which thoroughly explains how the logo may be used and how best to market the new certification mark. The certified product will be listed on the Informed Protein website along with all tested batches of the product.
Following Informed Protein supplement certification, each product must undergo scheduled monthly blind testing to independently ensure the integrity of the certified product. The number of blind samples tested is based on the number of batches produced per year for each product certified. Blind samples are purchased by the Informed Protein Program Management team from online and physical retail outlets.
The tested batches will be listed on the Informed Protein website on a page dedicated to the certified product. In addition to routine product testing, production processes and manufacturing facilities are regularly re-assessed to ensure ongoing program compliance.