Since Dr. Oz started a craze for Raspberry Ketones, NOW has looked into this with the idea of introducing a product to meet our customers demands. As always, NOW conducts an exhaustive investigation for any new product with many people and departments involved. Our Technical team does a literature review including product claims, toxicology and much more. Our QA team creates specs, talks to vendors and investigates details to make sure the product will be safe and efficacious. Our QC team is next involved with more research and pre-testing of ingredients and method development to make sure we can test for actives. Later, our Purchasing team is involved and eventually a product is bought, re-tested, manufactured, tested again and sold.

In the case of Raspberry Ketones, our new product search ran into several red flags. Initally, our researchers discovered that the research Dr. Oz used to make diet claims were only made from animal studies. There never has been any human clinical studies on Raspberry Ketones for weight loss. This was a big concern, so we planned to add thermogenic Green Tea extract in significant potencies in order to make the product effective with or without Raspberry Ketones. So far, so good.

We hit our next major hurdle when we found that naturally derived Raspberry Ketones cost about 5 times more than synthetically derived product. In looking at competitors, labels seem to imply that products are natural, but generally avoid declaring 100% natural, or 100% naturally derived from Raspberries. (Based on pricing and educated guesses, we assume most products on the market are not naturally derived). We still determined to buy the natural source material even though the cost difference is extreme and we would be at a pricing disadvantage. Our QC group then spent a lot of time trying to test to determine whether specific Raspberry Ketones are natural or artificial. We were unable to create a test method that showed the difference, but the lab came up with one final red flag that doomed our search.

Apparently, Raspberry Ketones is just a Raspberry flavor, which is widely used in the food industry. Because most flavors are artificial (and many are mislabeled as natural or “WONF” – a misnomer ‘With Other Natural Flavors’), natural sources for Raspberry Ketones are harder to find and source. Our team found that of the few natural sources available, none actually are derived from Raspberries! Yes, that’s right – Raspberry Ketones don’t come from Raspberries! Shockingly, Raspberry Ketones can be naturally derived from anise seeds, and after processing smell and taste just like raspberries.

That was the final straw for our search as we didn’t feel good about selling a product that had minimal research and a deceptive name/source. We determined to pass on the immense fad dollars and will focus our diet efforts on our T-Lean Extreme and other products. We do plan to introduce a trademarked, natural African Mango capsule with Green Tea added – coming hopefully before July. This is just to let you know that NOW’s quality checks and balances worked really well together to help us make safe, quality and efficacious products.

Our marketing folks will be writing this up more formally soon, but I thought this would be helpful information for you and your customers to know now.

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