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31.03.2021


Out of every 10 elderberry supplements 1 is counterfeit

Substances in elderberry have an antiviral effect. No wonder that elderberry sales are exploding right now. Under those circumstances, you can expect unscrupulous scammers to interfere in the elderberry trade.


Out of every 10 elderberry supplements 1 is counterfeit


Out of every 10 elderberry supplements 1 is counterfeit


Elderberry madness
The graph above does not fully explain what the market for elderberry extract is like at the moment. You see sales through 2019. In the year that followed, in 2020, the covid-19 virus spread around the world. According to market experts, sales of elderberry extract in the US doubled in 2020 compared to 2019.

This development meant that the market came under pressure. The price of elderberry extract rose.

Authentic elderberry extracts containing 7 percent anthocyanins now cost $ 160-190 per kilo. Extracts containing 14 percent anthocyanins cost $ 270-300 per kilo.

Analyses
Researchers and labs have been reporting counterfeit elderberry supplements for quite some time. They come across elderberry products that do not contain elderberries. That is why Stefan Gafner of the American Botanical Council asked 14 producers of elderberry extracts to analyze their own products or those of a competitor.

11 percent of the extracts turned out to be faulty. Especially the companies that examined a product of a competitor came across questionable extracts.


Out of every 10 elderberry supplements 1 is counterfeit


A number of wrong products were underdosed, but there were also products that contained extracts other than those of elderberry. Two companies found out what was in the wrong elderberry extracts they discovered: an extract of black rice.

Both elderberries and black rice contain anthocyaninins. The major anthocyanidins in elderberry are cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, cyanidin-3-O-galactoside, cyanidin-3-O-arabinoside, and cyanidin. The main anthocyanidins in black rice are cyanidin-3-O-glucoside and peonidin-3-O-glucoside.

The figures below have been reduced. Click on it for a larger version.


Out of every 10 elderberry supplements 1 is counterfeit


Cheaper
The reason why counterfeiters use black rice extract is obvious. Black rice is much cheaper than elderberry. Black rice extract costs $ 14 per kilo.

Tip of the berryberg?
"As a consumer, it is very disappointing to see that some of the elder berry ingredients and products offered are not what they claim to be", first author Stefan Gafner says on 3/23/2021 in a press release from the American Botanical Council.

"As a scientist, I am not surprised, since this adulteration follows a well-established scheme of using anthocyanin-rich extracts from low-cost sources as undeclared substitutes, which has also been observed, for example, with the adulteration of bilberry, blueberry, and cranberry extracts."

Source:
HerbalEGram Issue 3, March 2021.

More:
Elderberries protect against flu viruses in these two ways 28.05.2019
Elderberries help against colds 04.06.2016

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