Certification program expands scope and reach to meet bottlers’ increasing needs around the globe
NSF International recently announced the launch of a new Beverage Quality Certification Program. The one-of-a-kind program expands the scope of NSF's bottled water program to test, audit and certify natural mineral waters, flavored and functional beverages.
With more than 6 billion gal of bottled water being purchased each year, consumers are looking for ways to choose products that meet the highest quality and safety standards. NSF's new Beverage Quality Certification Program helps consumers make more informed decisions when it comes to purchasing bottled water and beverages.
“When consumers see the NSF mark on a bottle's label, they can be confident that it meets the industry's highest standards,” said Nancy Culotta, NSF vice president. “NSF Certification also allows bottlers to communicate their exceptional commitment to product quality and safety.”
NSF currently certifies approximately 200 bottlers in over 60 countries. Each of these bottlers voluntarily undergoes extensive product testing and unannounced bottling facility audits, which encompass every aspect of the operation from water source to the filling room. NSF performs extensive product testing for over 160 chemicals, inorganic, radiological and microbiological contaminants. As part of the certification process, bottlers are also required to submit a toxicological review of all ingredients. Certification and testing to both United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and European Union (EU) requirements are available.
These additional steps provide consumers with peace of mind. Functional beverages must also meet requirements set forth by NSF's Dietary Supplement Certification Program to verify that the contents of the bottle match what is indicated on the product label.
Consumers have expressed interest in understanding the carbon footprint of the products they purchase. In early April, NSF, in collaboration with Zenith International and international emissions measurement expert Trucost plc, announced the development of a new Carbon Action Plan (CAP). The global sustainability initiative helps measure and verifies greenhouse gas emissions within the beverage industry. This includes the use of recycled packaging content, renewable/green energy, efficient water use and offsetting through verified schemes.