Nutrasource Blog

Unlocking Success: The Value of Third - Party Product Certification for Animal Supplement Brands or Ingredient Providers

Posted by Erin Hudson, B.Sc. Program Manager on Thu, Nov 02, 2023


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The demand for companion animal supplements has been steadily growing in recent years. Pet owners are increasingly recognizing the importance of providing their companion animals with additional nutritional support and wellness products to enhance their overall health and quality of life. According to Facts Factors, the global pet supplement market size is projected to reach around 3.12 billion USD by 2030, with North America leading the way. One way for pet brands and ingredient providers to differentiate themselves in this rapidly growing market is through third-party certifications.

Third-party product certification is a process through which an external organization evaluates and approves the quality, safety, and credibility of these products.


Product certifications for pet supplements are crucial for several reasons and can hold significant value for both brands and consumers. Certified products stand out from non-certified alternatives, providing a competitive edge in the market. Below are some reasons consumers and manufacturers may benefit from certified and verified animal

    1. Quality Assurance: Product certification ensures that finished products or raw ingredients meet specific quality standards and undergo rigorous testing. Product certification programs also ensure that these pet supplements are manufactured in facilities that adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMP) and stringent quality control processes.
    2. Label Compliance: Third-party certifications often require a label review and verify ingredient claims align with scientific evidence. This helps pet owners make informed decisions and choose the right supplements based on their pets’ specific needs. This compliance also benefits brands by preventing legal issues, penalties, and recalls, which can negatively impact a company’s reputation and financial stability.
    3. Differentiation and Brand Reputation: Certified brands can position themselves as industry leaders committed to transparency and consumer satisfaction. Positive perceptions of the brand’s integrity and commitment to quality contribute to an enhanced reputation among pet owners.
    4. Trust and Credibility: Trustworthy pet nutrition is essential for the health and well-being of your consumers and their pets. A product certification seal or mark on a supplement indicates that the product has passed certain criteria and has been independently verified. This assures the product's quality and dependability, creating a bond of trust among the manufacturer, retailer, and the consumer.
    5. Consumer Confidence: By purchasing accredited animal supplements, pet owners feel confident they are providing their animal companions with trustworthy pet supplement brands. This contributes to a positive consumer experience and reinforces the belief they are making the best choices for their pets’ health and well-being.


If you are looking for a reliable way to verify the quality, safety, and credibility of your animal supplements, turn to Certifications by Nutrasource. Products are tested using real scientific data to make sure they are fresh, pure, and contain what is claimed on the label. Six product certification programs are available to provide transparency in the pet industry by either batch lot testing or reviewing pertinent documentation. 

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For more information about each program: Certification Programs for Animal Supplements. 

Getting third-party certified is simple. Outlined below is the 3-step process.

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*The product certification process may vary depending on the program you choose.


Each testing certification has its own unique testing panel to meet high quality standards.


Extensive review of relevant documentation to support your product claims and specifications. This may include certificates of analysis, ingredient lists, labels, manufacturing records, and clinical studies.


Alongside the array of advantages offered by third-party certification, Certifications by Nutrasource extends its support with marketing initiatives and personalized product reports for each certified product. These reports can be shared with both consumers and retailers, effectively highlighting the advantages of your product. Upon third-party certification, your company gains visibility on our website through dedicated company and product pages, showcasing your commitment to quality and compliance.


By partnering with Certifications by Nutrasource, you can gain the assurance of third-party certification, enhance transparency and credibility for your pet supplement products. Our team of experts is well-versed in testing standards and can guide you through the product certification process.

Don't hesitate to reach out today to explore how SGS Nutrasource can assist you in certifying your animal supplements.



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Tags: Product Testing & Certifications, Product Marketing, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, ingredients, Animal Supplements

VHPs in Canada: A Growing Market with a Regulated Pathway

Posted by Melissa Mendell, Regulatory Affairs Associate on Fri, Aug 11, 2023

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Tags: Claims, Regulatory, Concept to Claim, market access, Animal Supplements

Unlocking the Benefits: A Step-by-Step IFOS™ Certification Guide for Korean Manufactured Omega-3 Supplements

Posted by Nutrasource on Tue, Jun 06, 2023


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The dietary supplement industry is growing rapidly in South Korea. On a case by case basis, Korean-manufactured products can now showcase a third-party certification label on their product packaging – the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS™) certification label. This is a way for brands to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive market while building consumer trust.

Continue reading to learn how Certifications by Nutrasource can assist with achieving this certification.


Benefits of IFOS™ certification for Korean supplement brands:

  • Elevate your brand’s reputation by demonstrating your commitment to providing high-quality products through an internationally recognized label.
  • Confirm that the product meets the most stringent industry purity standards, which shows product quality.
  • Gain recognition from the Korea Health Supplements Association (KHSA). highlighting that the necessary regulatory compliance for selling products in Korea has been obtained.
  • Increase consumer confidence in the product and brand, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer loyalty.


IFOS process in Korea (1)


Once the application has been approved, the IFOS™ logo can be added to product packaging and advertisements for Korean-manufactured Omega-3 supplements. This signifies that the product is reviewed and approved by the KHSA, providing consumers with added assurance of safety and quality.






Nutrasource Asia can assist Korean supplement brands in obtaining IFOS™ certification and reaping its benefits. Here's how:

Introduction to the IFOS™ program:

Nutrasource Asia provides expertise to Korean brands on obtaining IFOS™ certification. Despite the high awareness of IFOS™ in the Korean market, many supplement brands are not familiar with the program's origin or the certification process. The team can guide you through the entire process of obtaining IFOS™ certification.

English Language support:

Nutrasource Asia offers a professional solution for brands who require assistance in communicating with the Certifications by Nutrasource team in Canada but do not speak English. The team at Nutrasource Asia can seamlessly manage the entire process, from contracting to sending samples to Canada to receiving IFOS™ certification, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for clients.

Assistance with market access strategy:

Nutrasource Asia offers a range of services to help clients navigate the complex regulatory landscape in Korea. Our team can provide guidance on Korean regulations, assist with the IFOS™ certification process, and explain the product launch process in Korea. Additionally, we offer support in coordinating production and testing plans to ensure a seamless market launch for your products.

Market monitoring for IFOS™ misuse or abuse:

Nutrasource Asia provides ongoing monitoring of the Korean marketplace for clients who have obtained IFOS™ certification, ensuring that the certification is not misused or abused. If any issues are identified, Nutrasource Asia works with clients to promptly correct them.


By following this step-by-step guide and working with Nutrasource Asia, eligible Korean brands can obtain an IFOS™ certification and take advantage of the program's benefits.

Ultimately, IFOS™ helps brands differentiate themselves in a competitive market and meet the demands of quality-conscious consumers.


Learn more the IFOS™ program.



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Tags: Product Testing & Certifications, Omega-3s, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, market access

Consumers Fact Check Their Products, Do You Have What They Are Looking For?

Posted by Kevin Yan, M.Sc., VP Certifications & Analytics on Tue, Apr 25, 2023

Today’s consumers are doing more research about the products they purchase than ever before.

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Tags: Product Testing & Certifications, Omega-3s, Probiotics, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, Non-GMO, market access

Food Regulation in Canada

Posted by Bernd Licht, Director of Quality on Fri, Mar 31, 2023

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Decentralized Clinical Trials: What you need to know about remote studies

Posted by Nutrasource on Thu, Mar 23, 2023


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Decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), also termed “virtual trials”, “site-less trials”, or “direct-to-participant trials”, are defined as the execution of clinical trials with the help of virtual visits or mobile healthcare providers, using technologies and methods that differ from a traditional clinical trial setup. DCTs can refer to both fully DCTs (virtual) and hybrid DCTs. In a fully decentralized clinical trial, participant recruitment, consenting, administration of study medication, collection of data, etc. will be done with no in-person study visits. In hybrid DCTs, most of the study procedures and visits are performed remotely, but the study participants may need to be on-site for some procedures such as physical examinations, sample collection, complex treatments, etc. The complexity of a clinical trial and the target population are key parameters that dictate whether to opt for a fully DCT, a hybrid DCT, or classic on-site trial approach to achieve the best results.


Virtual technologies

DCTs have also revolutionized the development and implementation of digital health technologies (DHTs) to support clinical research and collect real-time data remotely from the study participants. DCTs require various virtual tools and setups such as virtual visits, wearable medical devices, phone apps, etc., which are all examples of DHTs.

Virtual Tech


Are decentralized trials really the future of clinical trials?

There are some advantages of DCTs over traditional clinical trials. Conducting virtual visits can reduce the participant and caregiver burden (e.g., travel, parking, waiting time for an appointment). Wearable devices may also be utilized to monitor vital signs such as heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and temperature remotely, which could help in early detection of treatment-related adverse effects. Such devices can also track activities of daily living, such as sleep duration and quality, step count, time in sedentary positions vs. walking/exercising, etc. DCTs can cover a broader geographical area and can target wider demographic groups. Using DHTs can help study participants and caregivers with study alerts and reminders, scheduling of study visits, and remote data collection. The US FDA has recently proposed that DCTs might reduce barriers and cater to a wider range of participants by reducing the costs and commitments required for study participants to take part in a clinical trial.


Potential limitations of DCTs

In on-site clinical trials, the study products are shipped to a clinical trial site and distributed to study participants by trained site staff. In DCTs, the study products are shipped directly to the study participants. It may be a challenge to monitor and maintain the proper temperature for study products during transit, which could jeopardize stability and thereby have a negative consequence on study data. Additionally, the protection of privacy and health information is another challenge in DCTs with the use of DHTs. The solicitation, collection, and secure storage of study participant health information requires a thorough understanding of various complex regulatory requirements that vary by region and systems. Identity verification, secure data access and training are critical to addressing this complexity. Study participants need thorough training on the use of technologies for data entry and data capture, including wearable devices and phone applications. The uninterrupted data collection from the DHT gadgets will require a proper cellular plan or wi-fi connection and availability of an IT support team to troubleshoot any technical issues and answer participants’ questions. At the center of technology is also the validity of the software and devices and compliance with federal regulations and international guidelines on clinical research data.




There are some misconceptions in the dietary supplement industry that DCTs are less costly than traditional on-site trials. While there are benefits to the participant burden and potential decrease in recruitment timelines, there is a shift in labour required for the oversight and quality of the project which is focused more heavily on proper design, deployment and support of software and devices, and the costs for the software platform licensing and devices themselves, which offsets any time savings and costs a site may incur. Further, the costs associated with site staff remain nearly the same as the terms “virtual” and “site-less” are misleading. In these trials, there is still a requirement for site staff to support a DCT by interacting with the participants, performing follow-ups, managing medical oversight, being available for questions, etc. While there may be cost savings for studies such as observational trials, trials requiring thousands of participants, as well as for trials focused on rare indications/diseases, these cost savings are negligible in the dietary supplement industry where recruitment is less challenging due to the nature of the simpler study designs, smaller sample sizes, and more inclusive target populations.





The regulatory bodies need to work together to develop harmonized policies to support DCTs, ensure data integrity and protect sensitive health information of participants involved in the research. Virtual medicine and technologies have gained popularity over the past few years and are now being practiced and used at a larger scale. DCTs are becoming another tool in the clinical research industry alongside traditional clinical trials requiring brick-and-mortar sites, each with their own place and purpose. The successful execution of a decentralized clinical trial is tremendously dependent on the design, operational planning, and continuous oversight of the study. Collaborating with an experienced Contract Research Organization from trial conception is the key to ensuring that the study meets the highest standards of research.



Exploring options for your clinical trial? Reach out to our team who would be glad to connect and help answer any questions you may have.



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Tags: Clinical Trials, Pharmaceuticals

What We Saw in 2022: Key Trends

Posted by Santa Al Antwan, Regulatory Affairs Associate on Wed, Feb 22, 2023

As a result of the pandemic, respiratory and seasonal illnesses, and other emerging threats, consumers are more interested, invested, and involved in their wellbeing than ever before. When it comes to health products, consumers are motivated by those that are clean or naturally-sourced, convenient, scientifically substantiated, and tailored to meet their personal needs. Thus, driving industry trends towards transparency, sustainability, personalization, and virtual approaches.


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Tags: Product Testing & Certifications, Product Marketing, Regulatory, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, market access

How to Not Get Kicked Off for Non-Compliant Natural Health Products

Posted by Nutrasource on Thu, Feb 02, 2023

If you're already selling your supplement on Amazon in the U.S. or elsewhere around the globe, Canada is a natural next step to achieve growth and gain market share.

But if you're looking to enter the Canadian market for the first time via, be warned - it's not as simple as setting up an account and listing your products!

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Tags: Product Marketing, Regulatory, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products

What you need to know about drug submissions

Posted by Paula Guerra. Regulatory Affairs Manager on Tue, Jan 24, 2023


Companies looking to obtain authorization to market a new pharmaceutical must either file a New Drug Submission (NDS) to Health Canada or a New Drug Application (NDA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA), depending on their market-of-interest.

The regulatory dossier must include data around the following:

  • Pre-clinical (in vitro and in vivo) studies
  • Clinical (human) studies
  • Details on the manufacturing, packaging, and labelling of the drug substance and drug product
  • Therapeutic claims and side-effects

In summary, what this means is that the regulatory dossier must provide enough information to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of the drug product, showing that the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks.


Common Technical Document (CTD)

The information to be presented to the Agency is organized into five (5) modules, using the CTD format, as follows:

  • Module 1: Regional Administrative Information
  • Module 2: Quality Overall Summaries
  • Module 3: Quality, including Chemical, Manufacture and Controls (CMC) sections
  • Module 4: Non-clinical Study Reports
  • Module 5: Clinical Study Reports


Process and Timeline

Drug Submission Flowchart (6)

As seen in this flowchart, the entire regulatory journey from the initial drug application to its approval takes approximately 6 months for drugs that qualify for accelerated approval and up to 2 years for drugs that follow regular processing timelines, avoiding any delays.

Here are some key points of what happens at each stage:

  1. Pre-Submission MeetingAn option to get questions or concerns addressed by the regulatory Agency prior to filing the submission.  
  2. Submission Filing: The application must contain all the necessary information to satisfy the regulatory requirements of the appropriate division or directorate within the Agency.
  3. Review of the Submission: The Agency assigns a review team to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and quality of the product. Additionally, the Agency reviews the labeling of the drug product and inspects the facilities where the drug will be manufactured.
  4. Decision: If the information provided is deemed adequate, a positive decision is made, and the drug is approved to be released to the market. 
  5. Post-Marketing Activities: Post-market management of the product is critical and includes activities like monitoring of adverse events, Phase 4 clinical trials, reporting of post- approval changes (e.g., manufacturing, labeling, stability, etc.), and risk management plans.


SGS Nutrasource offers full-service consulting in this to make sure the new drug submission process is smooth. The team of regulatory experts extensively researches, compiles, and reviews drug submissions for compliance in Canada and/or the U.S. and files the application to the appropriate Agency, helping clients to achieve regulatory confidence and market access. 

Speak to a member of our team on how we help you successfully bring your pharmaceutical to market.



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The “Do’s and Don’ts” of Claims Substantiation for Dietary Supplements and Natural Health Products

Posted by Santa Al Antwan, Regulatory Affairs Associate on Wed, Nov 23, 2022

In today’s regulatory climate of full accountability and transparency, it is critical to have strong science to back-up any claim made on a health product, be it a dietary supplement sold in the United States (U.S.) or a Natural Health Product (NHP) marketed in Canada. This will be a key component of your dietary supplement and NHP marketing strategy. We know advertising health products is critical to your marketplace success and we want to help you make sure it is done the right way.

Firstly, it is important to note that while dietary supplements are equivalent to the NHP categories, there are some major differences in regulations between the two countries.

U.S. Canada
  • Only new dietary ingredients require pre-market notification to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • NHPs are subject to pre-market approval.
  • Dietary supplements are regulated post-market, as a subset of foods, and restricted to products taken by mouth (e.g., capsules, tablets, soft gels, gel caps, powders, bars, gummies, liquids, etc.)
  • NHPs are considered a subclass of drugs, and can be formulated in pharmaceutical-like dosage forms (e.g., elixir, suppository, topical ointment, etc.)

As a result, the potential claims for dietary supplements and NHPs vary significantly with most dietary supplements carrying structure/function claims and NHPs ranging from low- to high-risk health claims.

Given the complexity and nuances between jurisdictions, SGS Nutrasource’s regulatory experts will help you understand how to approach claims substantiation and apply these best practices to both product types. 


Label Claims for Dietary Supplements – in US and Canada

  • A health claim (both U.S. & Canada): used to indicate the beneficial effect of a product in reducing the risk of a disease or health-related condition when used in accordance with its recommended conditions of use.
  • A structure/function claim (only for the U.S.): describes the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient on the normal structure or function of the human body.

In the U.S., dietary supplements may make health claims; however, they are subject to pre-market review and authorization by the U.S. FDA. Structure/function claims are not pre-approved per se, but a notification must be submitted to the FDA no later than 30 days after the dietary supplement is first marketed.

In Canada, an NHP must have a recommended use expressed via its health claim, and that health claim must have a health context in order to attain Health Canada approval in the form of a Natural Product Number (NPN). Therefore, given the conditions under which NHPs are screened, reviewed, and subsequently approved, they cannot carry structure/function claims.


This flowchart summarizes the different categories of claims in the U.S. and Canada.

Claims flowchart

Constructed using guidance documents from the FDA and Health Canada.


Simply put, in order to avoid unnecessary and potentially costly consequences, we need to know the do’s and don’ts to consider when assessing a product’s claims potential.


Claims dos and donts (1)


SGS Nutrasource offers claims substantiation consulting to ensure regulatory compliance for your product label in line with the various geographical jurisdictions.

Speak to a member of our team on how we can support your regulatory needs.



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Tags: Claims, Regulatory, Dietary Supplements/Natural Health Products, market access