How Products Were Selected:Products were selected to represent those commonly sold and/or available in the U.S. ConsumerLab.com purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers, and direct sales or multi-level marketing companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.
Products containing apple cider vinegar were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
- Authenticity of apple cider vinegar products by High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) versus an authenticated reference standard.
- Quantification of Acetic Acid by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
- Quantitative analysis of lead, cadmium and arsenic by ICP-MS.
- Disintegration of non-chewable, non-capsule and non-time-release formulations using United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <2040> methodology.
ConsumerLab.com may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.
Identities of the products were not disclosed to the laboratories performing the testing.
To achieve a "Pass" in the testing, a product had to:
- Be consistent with profile for apple cider vinegar (main compound bands on HPTLC consistent with Retention factors (Rf) and color in upper plate region) versus reference standard. (Note: Product will fail if only lower Rf bands are consistent — as could occur with maltodextrin -- but lacks upper Rf bands).
- Contain a detectable amount of acetic acid that is at least 100% and no more than 125% of claimed amount of acetic acid. Contain less than 20% acetic acid per serving.
Heavy Metals: Unfiltered products and those containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg minerals per daily serving must not exceed the following limits:
- Products marketed for use by children may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.8 mcg if the product contains more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium.
- Products with a single serving weights of less than 5 grams which are not marketed for use by children, may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.4 mcg if containing 250-999 mg/day of elemental calcium, magnesium and potassium, 0.8 mcg if containing 1,000 mg/day of any combination of these minerals. An additional 0.5 mcg is provided if containing 250-999 mg/day of whole herb (not extract) ingredient or 1.0 mcg if containing 1000 mg/day or more of whole herb (not extract). However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg.
- Products with single serving weights of 5 grams or more which are not marketed for children may not exceed 2.5 mcg per serving nor 4.0 mcg per daily serving.
- If marketed for use by children, may not exceed 3.0 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on Canada's limit for a child weighing 75 lbs.). If not marketed for use by children, may not exceed 4.1 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on the State of California's Prop 65 limit).
- Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA limit and state of New Jersey limits - based on 1 liter of water).
- Meets recommended USP <2040> parameters for disintegration of dietary supplements (excluding capsule, chewable, sublingual and time-release products).
- Meet FDA labeling requirements.
** Based on State of California's Prop 65 limit. California requires supplements exceeding this limit to bear a warning label.