Say you bought our Vitamin K2 supplement.
The label says '90 capsules' in bold letters. Clear as a bell.
You expect the bottle to have 90 pills. Simple as that.
Most people don't even think about it. (I certainly don't!)
You simply assume that you are going to get what you paid for - 90 capsules.
Of course, you also expect what the label promises is inside each pill - 100 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7 and 500 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-4.
And that's exactly what you get - 99.9% of the time. What happens with the 0.1%?
This review of our Vitamin K2 product on iHerb.com suggests that we did not sell the customer 90 pills that they paid for.
Could this happen to you?
I forwarded the review to everyone in our Quality Control team. Their collective opinion was: What? How's that possible?!
Here's why we all felt the same way: bottles are not manually filled by laborers. They are accurately filled by weight by computers.
For example: if a pill of Vitamin K2 weighs 0.80 grams and each bottle should have 90 pills, the math is very simple: fill each bottle with 73.00 grams of pills. (Well, it's 72 grams but we add another gram for good measure. The extra one gram isn't an FDA requirement, but it's a good practice.)
We typically target a gram or so more, just to make sure you get at least what you paid for. This is done by computer-aided weigh scales, not humans.
Thirty years ago, yes, a little old lady counted 90 pills and another little old lady put them in a bottle. Not today. Today, those little old ladies are home watching Pat and Vanna.
Back to the bottling line...a bottle is moving down the fill line.
- A fill machine adds 72 grams of pills into each bottle. That should add about 90 pills.
- Once the bottle has reached the target weight of 72 grams, the filling stops, the bottle then moves down the line
- A desiccant is added
- A tamper-proof seal is added
- A cap is screwed on by a machine
- Another tamper proof clear seal on top of the cap.
There are people who feel supplement companies are not to be trusted. I sometimes agree.
The supplement industry has more than its share of shady characters. Especially brands that have mushroomed out of nowhere on Amazon.com. They often remind me of Third World politicians: I'd like to see less corruption or more opportunities to participate in it.
Anyway, the downside of being painted with that same brush is that many think we are trying to make a little extra dough by selling 88 or 89 pills in a bottle that should contain 90.
That kind of fleecing requires two things:
- A willful disregard of the law. There are laws that govern the number of pills or servings per container. Failure to provide consumers the quantity of product they paid for is a violation of the law. We take that seriously. We'd rather count pills than bars. Breaking the law requires a different kind of constitution that what we possess. I draw the line at driving 5 over the limit...OK, fine, 10.
- Deliberate cloak and dagger stuff - overriding of the fill weight, which would be easy to see in the batch records...in other words, someone snuck in to the packaging computer system, entered their password, and changed the target fill weight. Never mind that there are cameras everywhere and computers track all changes. In my 25 years in the nutrition and supplement business, I have never seen this happen. This is something the FDA drops by (unannounced) and inspects.
Here's the worst case scenario:
You may get 89 pills instead of 90.
You may just as easily get 91 instead of 90. This is basic statistics - it's called standard deviation.
Yes, there is a chance that you might get 88 Vitamin K2 pills. It's really low.
85? Chances are really, really low.
70? Chances are virtually zero.
60? Jeez. A math geek would say that's an anomaly. We say, 'What?! No way!'
I can think of a few explanations for why the reviewer found only 60 pills in the bottle.
Regardless, we always take our customers seriously. And that's just what we did. We conducted a thorough Quality Control investigation.
The investigation concluded from reviewing the batch records, deviation report, and manual enumeration (that's geek for counting) of a statistically valid number of retain bottles that there was no fill weight deviation beyond the accepted narrow standard deviation.
In plain English: this problem is isolated. The other bottles in the batch all contained 90 pills.
Here's a section of the Quality Control Investigation and Corrective Action Report:
Here's the bottom-line: if you're ever unhappy with our products, please reach out. We'll do whatever we can to make it right. After all, we're not selling you socks or pencils. This is your health. It's important!
I founded InnovixLabs and OmegaVia because I'm a nutrition geek at heart. I spend half my day on my treadmill desk reading scientific journals. (I was just reading this.)
We're about improving your health. And ours. If we really wanted to fleece our valued customers, we'd be selling weight loss pills. Not Vitamin K2.
My mother gets the same Vitamin K2 bottle you guys do. If she found 60 pills in a bottle instead of 90, I swear, I'll never hear the end of it. :-)
Call us. Email us. Send us a message on Facebook. Knock on our door. We'll make it right.
To your health,
Vin Kutty, MS