What is Extract Ratio ?
Extract Ratio is the ratio of herbal extract concentration. The extract 10:1 requires ten kilograms of raw material to produce one-kilogram herbal extract. As extract ratios are unverifiable some companies have claimed they produce ratios of up to 200:1 purely for marketing purposes. Furthermore, extract ratios are dependent on each herb and extraction methods. Herbs that contain more carbohydrates may have less extract ratio (less concentration) due to greater yield compared to raw materials.
Therefore, the extraction ratio may not reflect product quality and is not the verifiable reference.
What is Standardized Extract and Marker ?
Due to the non-verifiability of extract ratio, the best method of quality control for herbal products is HPLC analysis.
“Marker” is the term used for the active ingredients being analyzed. For instance, Turmeric uses ‘Curcumin’ for determining its quality and therefore Curcumin is the marker for Turmeric. A marker may not necessarily be the main active ingredient in the extract because some active ingredients cannot be found or extracted. For instance, the exclusive substance, Miroestrol, in PM, is currently unavailable to the commercial market to be purchased for HPLC analysis. At the same time there can be more than one common marker analyzed during HPLC depending on the product and the supplier. This highlights that referring to the Marker is a better indication of the extract’s overall quality.