Organoleptic Analysis of Herbal Ingredients

Technical Workshops

AHPA regularly presents in-person technical workshops to train the herbal products industry on the latest tools and methods that help ensure high-quality products and compliance with federal and state regulations.

Given the current travel restrictions, no workshops are currently scheduled.

Want to make a suggestion for a future technical workshop? Contact

Past Workshops

Organoleptic Analysis of Herbal Ingredients

March 2013: A practical guide for organoleptic characterization, with or without macroscopic descriptors, to identify botanical materials

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013

This document provides a practical guide for companies implementing organoleptic characterization, with or without macroscopic descriptors, for the identification of botanical materials.

When properly conducted by adequately trained personnel, organoleptic examination is a scientifically valid method for verifying the identity of many botanical ingredients. In practical terms this means that organoleptic analysis can in fact identify botanical ingredients in commerce.

Federal regulations require identity specifications to be established for each component used in the manufacture of a dietary supplement and, unless an exemption is obtained, to “(c)onduct at least one appropriate test or examination to verify the identity of any component that is a dietary ingredient” before use. These regulations also identify the types of tests and analyses that may be used to verify ingredient identity, including gross organoleptic analysis and macroscopic analysis. The specific objective of organoleptic analysis procedures outlined in this guidance is to affirm a positive material identification of dietary components, or to reject or question the identification of such components. These procedures can also be applied to incorporating organoleptic analysis into a quality control program.

Manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure that their identity examinations or tests are appropriate, scientifically valid methods. Organoleptic and macroscopic analyses are useful and valuable tools for determining the identity of fresh or dry raw herbal materials and may also have applicability to the various forms that these materials may present such as powdered extracts, tinctures, etc.

AHPA Members log in to download the document below


2022 Annual Fund Sponsors

AHPA appreciates the support of its sponsors, but does not endorse, recommend, or provide a warranty for any sponsor company, its products or services. AHPA has no responsibility for any transaction entered into with any of these companies.