Analytical Science news

Hemp seed products
17 June 2019

Cawthron gets the green-light to test, research, and develop hemp products

Cawthron Analytical Science are now offering their expertise and services to the growing hemp industry, following Ministry of Health approval for their laboratory to test, research, and develop hemp seed products. To welcome this new capability, Cawthron has developed reliable High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) tests for Cannabidiol (CBD), Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and CBD and THC acids.

Cawthron Analytical Science Business Manager Augusta van Wijk is enthused by the industry’s possibilities and said, “Hemp is increasingly being recognised for its food and nutraceutical benefits, and the industry is energised to make the most of emerging market opportunities. With our recently extended regulatory capability, we’re looking forward to working alongside growers and manufacturers to validate and innovate quality, compliant products for domestic and international markets.”

Cawthron’s licence extension follows updated regulations from the Ministry of Health last year, that allow for low-THC hemp seeds to be grown, manufactured, and sold as food products. The level of THC permitted in domestic hemp-seed products is too low to have a psychoactive effect. The Cawthron Institute’s international reputation for food safety excellence means manufacturers, importers, retailers, and consumers can have confidence in tested products.

“At Cawthron Analytical Science, we’re experienced in testing, researching, and developing products within strict regulatory environments and are focused on quality control, all while pushing the limits of product innovation.

 “Hemp seeds are safe to eat, nutritious and do not have a psychoactive effect. The de-shelled seed can be used to make high-value milks, cereals, flours, cosmetics, oils, butters, protein powders, and premium pet food.

“We offer ‘due-diligence’ testing to certify the absence of psychoactives from hemp derived products, alongside other food and nutraceutical analysis. Further to routine testing, our Analytical Research and Development team are ready to partner with producers to develop unique and novel hemp food products for current markets, and to support businesses preparing for future opportunities,” said Ms van Wijk.

Scientists and technicians at Cawthron Analytical Science have specialist expertise in natural product chemistry and are looking forward to working with hemp seed products. A known source of valuable nutrition, hemp seeds are rich in Omega3, protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

The hemp seed industry is growing at pace. Last year, production scaled up from 200ha to 1,200ha and New Zealand Hemp Industries Association (NZHIA) Deputy Chair Richard Barge expects this progress to continue as markets for low-THC industrial hemp open up.

“Hemp offers significant opportunities for New Zealand. Recent changes to domestic legislation mean hemp producers can once again service the food market with hemp seed products. This is beneficial to hemp seed consumers who enjoy the health benefits of this nutritional food while also stimulating economic development in regions where the hemp plant is grown.”

“In addition to its strong nutritional profile, hemp also contains CBD, a bioactive increasingly recognised for its therapeutic value in helping consumers manage health conditions. We can leapfrog to a world-leading position if we enable ourselves in this space,” said Mr Barge.

The New Zealand Government recently approved the therapeutic use of CBD, and while there are strict controls in place, the move highlights the potential for high-value nutraceutical and functional food products.

 “We know that here in New Zealand, our farmers grow great produce supported by favourable climatic conditions. We’re looking to develop and add value to our products so we can best serve premium, international markets; leveraging off New Zealand’s clean green image, while growing a crop that reinforces that reputation.

“To realise this ambition, producers will need to access the range of services that laboratories such as Cawthron Analytical Science is offering, from product development, through to stability trials and validating label claims,” said Mr Barge.

Cawthron Analytical Science offers a routine 5 – 10 working day turnaround time for testing hemp products for CBD, CBD-A, THC, and THC-A. To access this service or for further information on Analytical R&D services, contact Augusta van Wijk.

Hemp seeds and products