NSF International insights provided by Regulatory Specialist Wendy Gamble.
Nowadays reading label claims and quality assurances is second nature when consumers peruse the aisles grocery shopping. These claims help purchasers choose products that fit their lifestyle and nutritional expectations. But how is product quality communicated? Where do nutritionals become guaranteed? Who holds companies accountable to the quality they claim? The answer – these claims are often certified by third-party auditors.
A well-known third-party auditor is NSF International. NSF International independently tests, audits, certifies, trains, and consults for the food, water, health science, sustainability, and consumer product sectors. Their purpose is to develop a uniform, consensus-based national standard – uniting regulatory, industry, consumers, and public health experts.
Who is NSF International?
Founded in 1944 at the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health, NSF International was originally known as the National Sanitation Foundation. Their initial expertise was water sanitation, and in 1952 they developed first food equipment standards, NSF standards 1 and 2. After nearly four decades of increasing success, the National Sanitation Foundation had notably expanded their offerings and outgrew their name. In 1990 the company name was changed to NSF International, keeping the initials of their first name as a nod to their early years.
What do they do?
As stated, NSF International now works with far more than water sanitation. NSF touches on a variety of Food Safety aspects including: label claim certification, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), packaging, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), organic certification, and much more.
Along with food, NSF services 12 additional industries including Aerospace, dietary supplements, pharma biotech, and water/waste water. This wide repertoire of offerings has grown based on consumer demand and company acquisitions of other third party auditors with different areas of expertise. These offerings can be found globally, as NSF International is established in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
Why do they do it?
A third-party certification is granted when an independent organization or entity evaluates a manufacturing process and independently determines the final product complies with predetermined standards for safety, quality, or performance. These reviews are thorough and typically involve complete formulation/material reviews, quality and accuracy testing, and facility inspections. Agropur Ingredients is NSF GMP certified which means we are primarily audited for manufacturing standards; we do not utilize their product performance audits.
Companies specifically seek out NSF International certification because their long standing reputation of compliance with national and international regulations. Companies with NSF certification benefit from enhanced product quality and safety, as well as increased credibility with retailors, consumers, and regulators.
As an NSF GMP Requirements certified facility (NSF/ANSI Standard 173, Section 8 Dietary Supplement) Agropur Ingredients partakes in multiple annual audits in order to maintain our reputation of consistency and quality. We happily give this peace of mind to our customers and their consumers. Other NSF certifications held by Agropur Ingredients include NSF GMP for Sport™ and NSF Certified Gluten-Free.
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