TRAACS® stands for The Real Amino Acid Chelate System and is Albion® Human Nutrition’s branded trade name for a range of its exclusive patented products. The TRAACS name is reflective of a patented method for testing, which is detailed below.
As can be seen in Table 1 below, there are other band segments of the IR spectra that can be used in the identification of bisglycinate amino acid chelates. The band segments of greatest interest for the identification of a mineral amino acid chelate relate to the bonds from the mineral to the amino and carboxyl portions of the amino acid. Table 1 tells the differences found in the spectra of glycine and identified zinc bisglycinate chelate.
The differences in the spectra of absorption between the glycine and the zinc bisglycinate chelate indicate the bonding to the mineral in the chelate structure at the amino (NH) and the carboxyl (COOH) ends. As listed in the above table and shown in Figure 2 (representing the entire IR spectra for a zinc bisglycinate chelate) the peak absorption for the zinc bisglycinate chelate at 1643 cm-1 is evidence of the ring formation seen in a true mineral amino acid chelate.
The testing method that Albion Human Nutrition has developed for the TRAACS identification process has been issued a US patent (#7,144,737, Process for determining percent chelation in a dry mixture). However, we will not use this patent to prevent anyone from using this breakthrough method. Albion would like this method to become commonplace in the industry. Our key technical personnel will be able to provide guidance in using this new testing technique.
Albion has been using this testing method to validate its mineral amino acid chelates. With the introduction of TRAACS, Albion has also introduced an advanced certificate of analysis (COA) to further underscore the validity of the Albion produced mineral amino acid chelates. This advanced COA features the FT-IR tracing for the TRAAC product range. This will give our customers a valid method for the identification of the amino acid chelates in question. To date, Albion is the only chelate manufacturer that is providing identification and identification methods for its chelates.
It is our hope that over time, dietary supplement, pharmaceutical, and food companies will begin to use this test as a matter of routine when doing their QC on incoming mineral amino acid chelate materials. By doing so, these companies will be certain that they are supplying their customers with a validated mineral amino acid chelate, and the consumer can buy from them with confidence that they are getting what they paid for.
Albion Human Nutrition has often been approached to test mineral amino chelates that have been produced by other mineral suppliers. In truth, we have not found that any of our competitors have produced a mineral amino acid chelate that meets the definition of a reacted mineral amino acid chelate as defined by the NNFA (see in table 2).
Table 2. REACTED MINERAL AMINO ACID CHELATE DEFINITION:
With the advent of this new AAOC approved test method, Albion has used this test on some of the competitions’ chelates, along with some additional tests that we know give further evidence of an ingredient being a reacted mineral amino acid chelate. In Figure 3, the FT-IR test was applied to Albion's branded ferrous bisglycinate chelate (Ferrochel®) and a sample of another manufacturer's “equivalent” iron amino acid chelate. As demonstrated in the results, it is evident the competition's “chelate” is not a chelate, and thus not equivalent to Albion's Ferrochel.
To further demonstrate the difference between Albion's Ferrochel® and the other company's “chelated” iron product, Albion did additional tests related to the parameters of a true mineral amino acid chelate. Figure 4 gives a summary of these test findings.
As stated in Figure 4, the ligand:metal ratio (L:M ratios) for Ferrochel® is 2:1, while Company F's iron amino acid “chelate” product has a L:M of 0.7:1. This is a very critical point. A mineral amino acid chelate can exist at a molar ratio (L:M) of 1:1 to 3: 1, and the preference for minerals of +2 valence is a 2:1 molar ratio, which gives a +2 mineral the optimum chemical attributes to provide the highest level of mineral amino acid chelate advantages. In a case where the mineral is a +3 valence, the optimum molar ratio is 3: 1. Company F's 0.7:1 molar ratio tells us that there is 0.7 moles of the amino acid ligand for every 1.0 moles of the mineral iron. This would mean that we do not have a true mineral amino acid chelate. To further show that Company F's product is not a mineral amino acid chelate; the ingredients were put into water and then passed through a filter. In the case of Albion's Ferrochel, the L:M ratio of the filtrate and the precipitate gathered in the filter was the same, which tells you that none of the iron separated from the ligand, which is an attribute of a mineral amino acid chelate. In the case of company F, the molar ratios of the iron and the ligand, which were already too low to be a chelate, were different for the filtrate and the precipitate. In addition, ferrous sulfate crystals were recovered from the liquid. Conclusion, Company F's iron amino acid “chelate” is not a chelate, and it is not to be considered an equivalent to Albion's Ferrochel.
The new testing method can be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the mineral amino acid chelate field of technology. It will allow the producers of real amino acid chelates to be separated from the adulterated product that has been sold as their equivalents for many years. Albion Human Nutrition stands ready to back its TRAACS range of mineral amino acid chelates with this proven method for validating its chelates.
For a complete listing of all of the Albion Human Nutrition TRAACS minerals, contact Albion at (800) 222-0733.