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Stability Testing of Supplements

Stability studies are useful tools to help you understand the stability of your supplements over a given shelf life.

Here at ICNE Ltd., we can help you manage all of your stability testing requirements. Read more about stability testing in our Stability Testing Guidance document for supplements by clicking the image below:

ICNE Stability Testing Guidance

If you are interested in stability testing on your supplements then contact ICNE today on 01253 737009 or email

Vitamin C Effervescent Tablet Study – Results

ICNE has conducted a study, analysing the level of Vitamin C in commercially available effervescent tablets.

Vitamin C Effervescent Tablets

Last month we announced that we had internally validated a new USP method for analysing the content of Vitamin C in effervescent tablet solutions. We have now completed a follow up study, investigating the levels of Vitamin C in commercially available effervescent tablets, and comparing the results to their label claims.

We are pleased to announce that all the samples were within the assigned acceptance criteria and that the manufacturers of the products tested here are meeting their label claims. Read the full study here.

If you interested in verifying your vitamin C effervescent tablet label claims with an ISO17025 accredited facility, then contact us today.

Vitamin C Effervescent Tablets: Review and New Method Validation

ICNE Ltd has validated a new method: Vitamin C content in oral solutions / effervescent tablets. Read more below about Vitamin C and our new method validation.

Vitamin C Effervescent Tablets

Humans cannot biosynthesise vitamin C and we are also unable to store this in our bodies, therefore it is essential that we consume a sufficient amount of this vitamin regularly [1] [2]. Vitamin specific supplements are fast becoming more popular than traditional multivitamins, with vitamin C potentially being one of the most trusted.

Functions of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to have certain functions in our bodies, for example:

  • Protecting and maintaining the health of cells
  • Maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
  • Promotes wound healing via biosynthesis of collagen (component of connective tissue).
  • Biosynthesis of L-carnitine and other neurotransmitters
  • and it is also involved in protein metabolism [1] [2]

As well as all this, there is currently ongoing research into whether or not vitamin C can have a preventative effect for cancer, cardiovascular disease and other diseases [2].

Vitamin C Deficiency

The RNI (Reference Nutrient Intake) for vitamin C is 25-30 mg per day for children and 35-40 mg per day for adults [3]. An inadequate intake of vitamin C can lead to scurvy which manifests in symptoms such as: fatigue, malaise, inflammation of the gums, poor wound healing and joint pain (among others) [2].

Sources of Vitamin C

Dietary sources:

Vitamin C can be found naturally in a range of fruit and vegetables, for example

  • Red and green peppers
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Kiwifruits
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries etc [1]

In a healthy and varied diet, you should be able to get all the vitamin C you need. However, in some circumstances (for example: smokers, people consuming a limited variety of food or people with malabsorption / chronic diseases), it may be necessary to take a food supplement [2].

Food supplements:

The Department of Health (DOH) [4] has listed the different forms of vitamin C that is permitted for use in the manufacture of food supplements, which are:

  • L-ascorbic acid
  • Sodium-L-ascorbate
  • Calcium-L-ascorbate
  • Potassium-L-ascorbate
  • L-ascorbyl 6-palmitate
  • Magnesium L-ascorbate
  • Zinc L-ascorbate [4]

The range of Vitamin C supplements available to the consumer is now quite extensive, all of which can be easily purchased at supermarkets, pharmacies, high street shops and online. Vitamin C supplements are available in the form of tablets and capsules and now even in gummies for children. One of the most widely available forms of vitamin C supplements is in effervescent tablets. There are several reasons why vitamin C effervescent tablets are popular, for example: they may be the preferred choice for people with dysphagia (swallowing problems), the market offers various palatable flavours, they are refreshing and can also help increase fluid intake.

Growth of the supplement industry and importance of label claim testing published an article last year where the growth of supplement industry was discussed. According to this article, the Central Europe supplement market is predicted to grow by 7.6% until 2020, and the UK supplements and vitamins market was worth more than £670million [5].

With the increasing demand from consumers for food supplements the competition for sales can be tough. Part of the competition will inevitably be down to consumer trust in finished products. Consumers want to know exactly what they are being sold and also want to be able to trust that what is included on the label is actually present in the product. This highlights the importance of manufacturers and suppliers verifying any label claims being made. One way of verifying the claims is by testing the products at an independent laboratory.

ICNE Vitamin C Method Validation

Here at ICNE Ltd, we have recently validated a United States Pharmacopeia (USP) method for measuring the Vitamin C content in oral solutions. This method allows a result which is directly comparable to the product label claim to be generated. We are currently carrying out a study, testing the label claims on commercially available vitamin C effervescent tablets. Keep an eye out for the results of the study!

If you are interested in vitamin C effervescent finished products testing, then contact us on 01253 737 009 or email


[1] NHS Choices, “Vitamin C,” [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 April 2017].

[2] National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements, “Vitamin C – fact sheet for health professionals,” 11 February 2016 . [Online]. Available: [Accessed 19 April 2017].

[3] British Nutrition Foundation, “Nutrient Requirements,” October 2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 19 April 2017].

[4] Department of Health, “Food Supplements: List of Vitamins and Minerals which may be used in the manufacture of food supplements in the EU,” September 2011. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 18 April 2017].

[5] W. Chu, “What’s driving supplement growth? Ageing, fitness & self-care.,”, 17 February 2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 13 April 2017].


ICNE Newsletter Launch

We have launched our 1st newsletter!

The newsletter covers the results from our customer satisfaction survey, the joint supplement study published in Nutraceuticals Now, and our review of the BRC standard for Agents and Brokers. Please click here to view the newsletter. To sign up to our newsletter, enter your email address at the bottom of this page.

For any further enquiries about our range of analytical laboratory services, then contact us on 01253 737 009, or

ICNE Article: Joint Supplement Study in Nutraceuticals Now

Nutraceuticals Now have published a study conducted by the ICNE team, in their Autumn 2015 issue.

The study investigated the accuracy of label claims for glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate in commercially available companion animal, equine and human joint supplements. As the nutraceutical industry has fewer regulatory requirements than the pharmaceutical industry, there is the potential for inconsistencies between the label claims on supplements and the actual levels of active ingredients.

ICNE analysed the amount of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate in randomly selected supplements, to see whether the levels truly reflect the label claims being made. In this blinded study, five different samples from each industry (companion animal, equine and human) were purchased and analysed. Samples from the companion animal and equine industries met their label claims. However, 40% of samples from the human supplement industry failed to meet the glucosamine content label claim, and 60% failed to meet the chondroitin sulphate label claim.

This study demonstrates that discrepancies between label claims and actual content can occur. It also highlights the importance of rigorous QC testing on raw materials and final products in order to ultimately provide the best quality products for consumers. Read the full study here.

If you would like discuss how ICNE can help to improve your QC regimes, and find out about the types of analysis we can provide, please contact us here.

Equine Joint Supplement Study

ICNE undertook an internal study to compare the label claims of Chondroitin and Glucosamine and, as promised, here the results of our Equine Joint Study.

We noticed that from the small number of products tested, the higher priced products contained higher amounts of Chondroitin and Glucosamine.

Companion Animal Joint Supplement Study

As a lab experienced in the testing of finished products, ICNE has undertaken an internal study to compare the label claims of Chondroitin and Glucosamine in joint supplements from three different market areas.

Here are our results for the Companion Animal Joint Study. Please also check out our results for the Human Joint Study – it is quite an eye opener.

Keep an eye out for the results of our Equine Joint Study coming soon…

News Categories

Latest Studies

Vitamin C Effervescent Tablet Study

20 June, 2017Posted by: ICNE

Our vitamin C effervescent tablet study shows that all the...

Read More

Companion Animal Joint Supplement Study

21 September, 2015Posted by: ICNE

Our Companion Animal Joint Supplement Study shows that all of the...

Read More