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When it comes to testing, 100 percent is not always perfect.

At a Glance: In his 15 years and counting at USANA, Dr. John Cuomo has learned this from experience. He tells a story about an outside lab that did testing on Mega Antioxidant close to 15 years ago.

"Every time we would get a report back from them, the eight or ten ingredients they were testing, every single one, came in at exactly 100 percent of label claim," said Dr. Cuomo, USANA's executive director of research and development. "We thought this was interesting for a couple of reasons."

The first reason: We usually overformulate in order to meet label claims for up to two years.

The second reason: We're good, probably the best in the industry, but we're not perfect. Dr. Cuomo said even though we test for uniformity, there's an acceptable, but very small, margin of error.

"It's very rare that you get exactly the 100 percent label claim on every single ingredient that's in there," he said. "And yet, we did five or six batches in a row that came back with 100 percent on every ingredient they were testing. So we did what we actually do with our own lab."

They made a small pilot run of the product and intentionally left out half of the ingredients the lab was testing for. And the results?

"The Certificate of Analysis came back and it had 100 percent on everything," Dr. Cuomo said. "I think that was the last straw for doing outside testing."

In the last 15 years, USANA has phased out almost all of its outside testing—with only a couple of "very exotic, extra testing" handled infrequently by a third-party lab. When you manufacture your own products and dedicate the amount of resources and energy to in-house testing that we do, there's no need to seek outside help.

"You just don't get above and beyond the testing that goes on at USANA," said Dr. Mark Brown, USANA's director of product development.

At every step of the production process on every commercial batch of our products, samples are taken, procedures are checked, and tests are run. If something goes wrong, the material is either scrapped or fixed until it meets stringent quality standards.

A representative sample of the full production batch goes through full chemical, physical, and contamination testing. Label claims are verified. Tablets are placed in faux-stomach-acid solution and stirred around until they dissolve to test disintegration—less than 30 minutes is the United States Pharmacopeia standard, but USANA tablets usually disintegrate in less than 15 minutes. Finished products are also tumbled around to test friability, or the ability for tablets to resist breaking.

These tests aren't formally required, but we perform them on every finished product that bears the company name. Then they go a step further.

Stability testing is also done, with representative lots of all current products and all reformulations being tested. To assure the stability of the ingredients in the tablet, products in finished packaging spend two years in a 25 C (77 F)-degree room kept at 65 percent humidity. Samples are pulled at several predetermined time intervals and retested for contamination, physical parameters, potency, and label claims.

"That's another extra step we take," Dr. Cuomo said. "If we make a product, we do this. It's not like we do it on one or two of our favorite products—it's our entire product line."

From the 20-plus scientists, chemists, and microbiologists who staff the labs, to the $3–$4 million in analytical equipment, this investment in testing represents a commitment to quality, which can be seen in all of our award-winning products. It's the extra investment, the extra steps, and the extra care that sets us apart.

"It's the same thing as owning your own production facility," Dr. Cuomo said. "We do the testing, we do it right."

Far more than a multivitamin, the Essentials deliver all 13 Vitamins, 12 minerals, trace minerals, and over 20 different antioxidants. The Essentials provides the most complete, advanced, and effective foundation of nutrition your cells need.

Please contact us if you wish to try the USANA products