TESTING METHODS

Mineral Logic has been utilizing the New Standardized Method adopted by IHSS and AOAC.

This method is also known as LAMAR, after the lead scientist, Richard Lamar.

Our historical data with LAMAR is utilized to determine the potency and shelf-life stability of the Humic and Fulvic acids in our products.

Of all the tests available, the LAMAR
and ISO methods are the most similar, however, there are differences, such as the incubation time and temperature. That said it is likely that the two methods would give very similar results.

Brief comparison between ISO test to LAMAR by Dr. Williams, PhD. 

HISTORICAL TESTING METHODS USED
Chart Testing Methods Historical Timeline .png

Diagrammatic representing various methods of humic substance (HA, FAs, and HFAs) isolation consisting of non-quantitative and quantitative methods and the years they were refined and published. Arrows depict methods that were substantially used and modified that became known as the method towards which the arrow points.​

 

BEFORE YOU PURCHASE FULVIC PRODUCTS

Product formulators and contract manufacturers considering fulvic acid as an input ingredient in a product should request the supplier or manufacturer to state, and be willing to certify, their testing method and results.  

Some companies claim that their fulvic is USDA Organic certified. The USDA does not certify minerals as organic.

 

WHY THE STANDARDIZED TEST MATTERS

For many years there has been no standardized analytical method that the scientific community could rely on for consistent accuracy to determine the quantity of fulvic acid concentration in a solution.

 

Without an industry standard, manufacturers and sellers of fulvic products used methods that resulted in various claims being made on labels, marketing literature, and websites of commercial fulvic acid products. These claims have caused many scientists and consumers to question the validity and accuracy of these claims about fulvic acid content, which made the evaluation of fulvic products very difficult.

 

Our Qualification Process to our Customers:

  • We initiate a third-party analyses on every batch extraction produced by Mineral Logic.
     

  • Our customers are provided a complete analysis of the fulvic acid content by the Lamar method.
     

  • As a producer of our product, we provide a Certificate of Analysis and a batch sample is reserved at our cGMP facility as part of our guarantee.

 

Some companies claim that their fulvic is USDA Organic certified. The USDA does not certify minerals as organic.

 

THE LAMAR STANDARDIZED METHOD

Developed by a team of scientists and individuals from various organizations involved in soil science, the Lamar method was recently accepted as the standardized method for fulvic acid quantification by AAPFCO (Association of American Plant Food Control Officials) and the IHSS (International Humic Substances Society) which consists of the world’s top humic/fulvic scientists.

See AOAC International Journal Article here.

OTHER TESTING METHODS EXPLAINED

LGB - (aka modified Larry G, Butler method)

Until the emergence of the standardized Lamar method in 2014, this has been the most accurate of all testing methods for fulvic acid and may still hold promise since the results produced, with regards to fulvic acid content, are somewhat similar to the Lamar method.  

Fulvic acid is condensed tannin and can be absorbed by a resin whereby it can be quantified much more accurately by reading the vanillin conjugates of the sample.  

 

The one disadvantage to this method, as compared to the Lamar method, is that it does not purify or separate the lignin sulfates from the fulvic acid fraction leading to some inaccuracies in the final FA result.

COLORIMETRIC/SPECTROPHOTOMETRIC  1940s.

Humic acid is exposed to light; the amount of light absorbed is compared to the quantification value of a Sigma-Aldrich standardized sample taken from a mine in Germany.

The method for evaluating NOM (Natural Organic Matter), DOM (Dissolved Organic Matter), and HS (Humic Substances) first became prevalent in the 1950s.

 

Intramolecular charge-transfer interactions within these materials make this analysis highly inconsistent. Thus making it a nonviable method for determine NOM, DOM, HS, and isolating an accurate Fulvic Acid quantity.

 

SIZE EXCLUSION CHROMATOGRAPHY METHOD  1960s

A method where size exclusion gels in a column separate ,molecules of different molecular weight sizes. Although it is a robust method for many applications, it is not a method for separating polymers in dynamic equilibrium such as those found in humates.

 

Humic substances make the size exclusion chromatography highly inconsistent. 

CLASSICAL METHOD 1970s

The Classical method extracts and purifies humic acid. This method reports the true humic acid content of a humate or humate extract. The Classical method only purifies the humic portion of an organic material and disregards the separation of the fulvic fraction of the humic acid content, which makes this an inferior method for determining fulvic acid quantity.

LARRY G. BUTLER METHOD (LGB) 1980s

The method utilizes the Colormetric assay that uses vanillin, a phenolic organic compound, to form adducts with flavan-3-ols, dihydrochalcones, and proanthocyanidins producing a red color upon condensation. This method quantitates only a subset of flavonoids leading to the underestimation of total flavonoid content.

However, when compared to the classical method, flavonoid content is overestimated. This protocol is also subject to the incongruities mentioned in the Colormetric/Spectrophotometric method of analysis.

CDFA - (aka California method) This test was developed by the California State Department of Agriculture. It does separate the humic and the fulvic but it then discards the fulvic solution and only measures the remaining liquid also including the organic ash content as part of the quantification result with no purification steps performed to remove the ash.  This of course leads to various analytical inaccuracies.  This is the only method that the California departments of agriculture will accept when registering a product. 

 

At the time of this research on testing methods, California does not recognize fulvic acid as a separate substance from humic acid and requires that all label registrations list the content as humic acid only.

 

(Until 2017, Oregon also required using this method but has recently switched to the Lamar Method of fulvic acid quantification and now allows the label registration of fulvic acid as a substance apart from humic acid.)

SWIFT METHOD 1990s

Similar to the classical method with the exception that several incubations in HCL and NaOH along with multiple centrifugations are performed making this protocol quite lengthy. It does separate humic from fulvic, however, the HFA fractions are not isolated.

 

V&B - (aka Verploegh and Brandvold method) Date unknown

V&B quantifies both humic and fulvic acid and is a quick, cost effective, and easy test to perform.  It does not go through purification of the chemical reagents used to separate the humic and fulvic acids.

 

This method produces inaccuracies and inflated results of fulvic acid because it includes, or does not purify out, non-fulvic acid substances such as humic acids, amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, and lignin sulfates.