- 1. Raw Material
- 2. Herbal Preparation & Formula Verification
- 3. Extraction
- E. Collection & Restoration of Essential Oil
- 4. Herbal Concentration
- 5. Granulation
- 6. Finished Product QC
- 7. Packaging and Appearance
KP ensures complete safety, efficacy and authenticity of its product line. KP leads the industry in the breadth and comprehensiveness in herbal identification and authentication of raw herbs.
The features of KP authenticating protocol include the following:
- Macroscopic inspection by qualified experts to “weed out” commonly substituted herbs
- Microscopic examination of the herb’s surface, grain, and distinguishing characteristics
- TLC (Thin layer chromatography), a chemical “fingerprint” unique to each species
After authentication, batches of herbs are sorted through by trained technicians, who pick out and discard the damaged or subpar herbs.
Once the best herbs are selected, they are cleaned and prepared according to a protocol customized for that herb. Dirt and other foreign materials are meticulously removed, and the herbs are then sliced or prepared with traditional pao zhi methods before being cooked in a large vat, called a rotary extractor.
KP’s formulas are manufactured based on methods outlined in classical literature. For some formulas, classical literature specifies the herbs to be added into the decoction in different phases. KP follows that process too. Even though some items are not very soluble, they are also decocted based on KP’s spirit to follow methods outlined in classical literature.
The rotary extractor spins to mix the herbs in a decoction liquid while the temperature is increased to cook the herbs. The precise extraction temperature and timing is strictly controlled. This extractor also features a KP-patented essential oil retrieval system.
In 2000, Kaiser Pharmaceutical earned patent number 160911 for the technology used for the Extraction and Retrieval of Herbal Essential Oils. Modern scientific processing methods and rigorous quality control set KPC herbs apart from all other sources of Chinese herbs.
KP’s patented essential oil retrieval system allows the vat to capture and preserve the volatile oils, which are reintroduced when the herbs are in the granulation phase. Essential oils increase efficacy and infuse the herbs with their natural aroma.
After extraction, the decocted herbal liquid flows out through a valve directly into a state-of-the-art concentration system. The decoction liquid slowly evaporates in a low-temperature vacuum system. The low-temperature preserves the potency of the herbal extract’s potency that would otherwise damaged under extended exposure to high temperatures.
All extraction factors are controlled, and then measured for extraction effectiveness using HPLC detection for known ingredients. The process is tweaked until the best procedure and herb-to-solute ratio is ascertained which then becomes the SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) for that product. Because each product has a different optimal herb extraction ratio and because herb extraction ratios are inherently misleading, KP simply refers to its products as optimally extracted. For those who prefer numbers, KP has found that our products have an extraction ratio of approximately 5:1. Optimal Extraction is what KP consistently strives for.
Step 5: Granulation
The concentrated herbal extract, now in the form of a viscous liquid, is piped into a flow coater. The granulator sprays the concentrate onto minute particles of a base material as the moisture slowly dissipates. With the moisture evaporated, the granules are dry and ready to be packaged.
The flow-coater’s process is automated, and it is completely sealed off to prevent the possibility of cross-contamination. The base material is formed using non-GMO potato starch and/or ground herbs depending on the formulation. The granules can then be pressed into easy-to-swallow tablets or encapsulated.
High-precision laboratory tests check multiple samples from each batch to measure the potency and to establish the safety of the product. These tests include the following:
- Microbiological assays to screen for E. coli, salmonella and various other possible bio-contaminants such as molds or yeasts
- GC-MS-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) to ensure safety by testing for the presence of over 200 harmful substances such as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
- UPLC-MS-MS (Ultra performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) to measure key active ingredients, thereby indicating the general efficacy of the herb or herb formula
- ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry) to test heavy metals up to a range of parts per billion (ppb). ICP-MS is by far the most precise and sensitive technology available today to test for heavy metals.
KP not only test finished products, but also raw material and semi-finished products.
Each batch of herb is produced with a Certificate of Analysis (COA). The COA documents the excellent quality of our herbal extracts. Only batches that fulfill the KP’s ‘Golden Standard’ are packaged and distributed. The Golden Standard is a collection of the strictest criteria of the safety standards from the U.S., Singapore, the E.U. and Japan. The high standard ensures KP’s herbal products may be consumed safely across the world, making them truly world-class.
Like all plant products, the characteristics of herbs vary from season to season and year to year depending on the environment in which the herbs were picked. Naturally, it is normal for the resulting granules to vary slightly in color, texture or aroma, reflecting the variations in the source herbs from which they were produced. KPC’s herb granule extracts are produced in batches with each batch assigned a unique lot number, which can be found in the bottom corner of the bottle’s label.