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A Customer Letter concerning standardization of Grape Seed Extract

Automatic powder grinder and feed conveyor

Once in a while a customer emails us a question that really goes to the heart of who Seagate is and why we are different from the other 100 or 200 labels selling grape seed extract and other assorted raw materials imported from China.  Earlier this month, a customer named Gina wrote this email:

Name: Gina
Comments: Hello, I have a question about standardization of OPC.  You say that you do not claim an actual “OPC” level, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, because there is no current laboratory methodology to measure such chemicals.  However, virtually every other reputable company lists their OPC, and guidelines suggest to look for a product that is standardized at 40 to 80 percent proanthocyanidins for best protective value, which you say can’t be done.  Could you please explain?

Thank you very much,

Gina F.

Seagate responded:

Hi Gina-
As stated on the website — You cannot measure oligomeric proanthocyanidins (in Grape Seed Extract). However, you can analyze the index value of proanthocyanidins in a sample of GSE versus another and get a relative strength of Brand”A” versus Brand “B”. 

We have been in the health food industry for 20 years, (in business for 32). This is not the first instance of companies putting up numbers on their labels to make their products look more potent than the competitors on the shelf. This happened with shark cartilage our first product (mucopolysaccarides), olive leaf extract (oleuropein), tomato (lycopene %), and now the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the extra virgin part).

Did you ever wonder how when a product gets popular, that there are suddenly 100 different brands with that product under their labels claiming to be manufacturers? When we started processing the GSE in 1997 there were only 3 or 4 other actual producers of it in the U.S. I would be willing to bet you that this number has not changed much. We used to sell the GSE powder in bulk to a number of these other brands at the very beginning before deciding to cut them all off and sell it under our own label. 

Unfortunately the U.S. health food industry is composed primarily of companies that are just labels who source out their raw material from suppliers, mainly overseas brokers and unfortunately now mostly from China. The only thing a lot of these companies actually process is the artwork on their labels and the invoices mailed with their orders. The only way to differentiate themselves from their competitors is to copycat the other labels and make their numbers for the supposedly active ingredient appear to be higher than the other companies.

So while you are on a mission to find the highest OPC level and best GSE for yourself, I would suggest that you also ask each of the companies you contact whether they purchase or actually produce their own product. We no longer even try to compare Seagate’s GSE to any other brand since we no longer supply them with the powder, and these brands tend to jump around and seek out suppliers with availability and lowest cost. It would be like comparing a product we took the time and energy to build a factory and install machinery to create   .. with some company’s latest purchase from their raw materials broker.

Thank you for your inquiry. I realize this does not exactly answer your question. However, it is also impossible to prove a negative.
Seagate Customer Service

Seagate Vacuum pump room

Sorry for all the text in this posting. The fish picture this week was taken of a couple of Guelly Jacks swimming in the center of the volcanic bay in Santorini. There were no other fish. The Greeks had eaten everything.

Guelly Jacks in Santorini’s volcano


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