Nutritional supplements are a wide-ranging class of compounds that differ greatly in molecular structure, volatility and polarity. Companies that sell nutritional supplements are not required to get pre-approval from the FDA, but do have to prove that their production process complies with current good manufacturing practices (cGMP).
cGMP requires constant screening, inspection of incoming materials, and verification of active ingredient concentration. This is often carried out by HPLC, but the significant time and method development that goes into HPLC analysis is costly. HPIMS offers an attractive alternative because it is fast and simple to operate, and keeps operating costs low by eliminating the use of excess solvents.
HPIMS is capable of analyzing polar molecules and nonvolatiles, and can differentiate between structural isomers. It has been used to analyze a wide range of nutritional supplement components including coenzyme Q10, sucralose, guggulsterone, and L-leucine.