By Dr. Bob McCauley
A Certificate of Analysis – COA – is issues for every food supplement that is produced and/or imported in to the country. As a supplier of Taiwan Chlorella and Spirulina, we are obligated to provide that to every company that we sell wholesale to. We cannot import Chlorella or Spirulina in to the country without provide a COA to both US Customs and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A COA gives you an overall snapshot of the product it is offered for. For instance, the one attached to this BLOG is from Taiwan Chlorella Manufacturing Company who we import our Chlorella from. The COA comes with every batch of chlorella we import. It demonstrates that the batch of chlorella we are purchasing has had Protein, Minerals (ash), Moisture and Chlorophyll measured so that they come up to standards. For instance, if the Protein would show a result below 55% total weight, the chlorella would be determined to be unacceptable and we would reject it. Other elements we consider is bacteria, Total Plate Count, which also must be at acceptably low levels. E. Coli, which comes from animal feces, must be zero. Pheophorbides, which are a derivative of chlorophyll, must be controlled properly to low level in chlorella or it can cause photodermatitis, skin welts that appear when a person is exposed to sunlight and the pheophorbides react with sunlight. Therefore, it is imperative that you test for these levels in chlorella and spirulina to be absolutely certain they are below 60 mg/liter (ppm). When it company that sells chlorella refuses to release their COA it is definitely a concern. What might they be hiding?
Another important thing to look for is the amount of heavy metals found in the product they are offering. Lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum are always scrutinized, as they should be. Aluminum is not even regulated and most companies do not test for it. This is why we always run our own third-party metals tests.
Yet, we find that many companies do not offer a COA with the products they sell. Some of them tell me that the producer that they buy from does not allow them to release the COA to the public, which is absurd to say the least. If any company you purchase a supplement such as chlorella, spirulina or an herbal extract from refuses to release their COA – DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM. That is my advice.