Botanical, Macroscopic and Organoleptic Assessment of Herbal Ingredients for cGMP Compliance

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.

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Past Workshops

Botanical, Macroscopic and Organoleptic Assessment of Herbal Ingredients for cGMP Compliance

Convened February 2022

Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Thanks to your support this event has SOLD OUT and registration for it has been closed. Thanks so much! We'll see you there!

This workshop will provide a detailed orientation of botanical, macroscopic, and organoleptic identification methods, quality assessment techniques and terminology, and demonstrate how these techniques are used to evaluate crude plant parts in a scientifically valid manner.

Botanical identification: Despite advancements in chemistry and genetics, classical botany remains the foundation by which all plants are identified and therefore is the gold standard of proper plant identification.

Macroscopic Identification: Each plant part possesses a relatively unique suite of characters that allow for an identification, purity, and quality assessment to be made rapidly and is easily documented.

Organoleptic (sensory) Assessment: The sensory characteristics of a plant reflect its mechanical and chemical properties, which are most often directly correlated with the plants desired health benefits. Sensory assessment of plant material has been the primary analytical technique used by herbalists historically, is under-emphasized as to its importance, can help in the quality assessment of raw botanicals and herbal extracts, and is seldom taught and applied in the botanical products industry.

Current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) require QC/QA personnel to be adequately trained in dietary ingredient testing. This workshop will provide the foundation of botanical ingredient assessment in a manner that supports all other analytical methodologies that are subsequently performed. Each participant shall receive a Certificate of Completion to provide documentation that QC personnel have received training in these important techniques that then in part satisfies your GMP documentation for personnel training.

This two-day, hands-on [virtual] workshop will cover:

  • Botanical identity cGMP compliance requirements;
  • Strengths and weaknesses of various analytical technologies (botanical, morphological, microscopic, chemical, DNA);
  • Botanical terminology and botanical identification of plant materials;
  • Language of botanical pharmacognosy and organoleptics: Terminology and assessment techniques for roots, leaves, stems, barks, flowers, fruits, seeds;
  • Developing and documenting macroscopic and organoleptic assessments in a scientifically valid manner;
  • Common and uncommon botanical adulterants: how to detect and how to avoid them;
  • Sourcing of botanical reference materials and developing internal standards; and
  • Authoritative reference guides and sources for gaining botanical identification skills.

The discussions will be accompanied by virtual instruction on:

  • Preparing botanical vouchers; and
  • Examining various plant parts provided during the instruction.

Who should attend?
QC/QA personnel, laboratory personnel, regulatory compliance personnel, natural products researchers, supplement companies looking for economical means to comply with cGMP identification requirements, and anyone with an interest in utilizing botanical, macroscopic and organoleptic techniques to identify botanicals.


  • Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, Herbalist and President, American Herbal Pharmacopeia (AHP)
  • Steven Yeager, Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Mountain Rose Herbs
  • Holly Johnson, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)

Event Details

  • Location: Virtual
  • Dates: February 8-9, 2022
  • Time: 9 am-1 pm PT daily
  • Cost: Members = $650 | Non-Members = $1,300

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