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New Ginkgo adulteration detection methods published in journal Fitoterapia


Network Nutrition has recently published its scientific research into the numerous mechanisms for the adulteration of Ginkgo biloba leaf extracts.  The research includes careful examination of the latest and most sophisticated mode of adulterating this popular herbal material, being the inclusion of an entirely different plant species; Styphnolobium japonicum (syn. Sophora japonica).

The paper, published in journal Fitoterapia, involved a comprehensive independent analytical screen of 22 finished products purchased in the European, Australian and New Zealand retail sectors.  It was discovered that 14 out of 15 of the finished products purchased in Europe contained adulterated Ginkgo extract, whilst this was true for 2 out of 7 of those purchased in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

The research discusses the hotly debated presence or absence of genistein; an isoflavone compound, and whilst some scientific circles elude to the natural occurrence of this compound in Ginkgo leaf, the research provides expanded analytical tools to determine the source of any genistein present.

“These tools will allow industry to analytically verify whether any genistein present is from Ginkgo leaf or from another non-Ginkgo source”, remarked Ryan Gorman, Brand Director at Network Nutrition.  “Since this type of adulteration appears to by-pass the detection mechanisms already in place with existing analytical resources such as the United States Pharmacopoeia, adequate detection of these practices is critical to guaranteeing the supply chain for this extremely important herbal material”.

Mr. Gorman went on to add that “proper supply chain practices including appropriate harvesting time appear to address the possibility of the presence of genistein, even in trace amounts, so it might be that industry adopts a genistein-free policy for Ginkgo leaf extracts to avoid the need for additional testing to confirm whether the source is extraneous”.

With popular herbal ingredients such as Ginkgo biloba often the target of adulteration, Network Nutrition has undertaken extensive research on a number of herbal ingredients and their various modes for adulteration, with a number of these works already published.

The paper can be found at