Unlike most other supplement companies Xtend-Life maintains full control of the quality of all of our products. All of our products are manufactured by Natural Products (NZ) Ltd, which is a fully owned member of the Xtend-Life group.
At Xtend-Life, we want to enrich the lives of our customers by providing advanced, natural and effective products they can trust. To achieve this, Xtend-Life operates from a purpose-built facility in Christchurch, New Zealand. This state-of-the art building sits at the base of the Port Hills in Heathcote and includes our factory, which has the highest quality equipment to ensure we only produce superior products with absolute consistency.
We use the highest quality ingredients sourced from suppliers from around the world. The ingredients undergo rigorous testing, to ensure the product meets the level of excellence required of Xtend-Life products.
For more information on our manufacturing process click here, or you can watch this video for a tour of our facility.
The Production and Testing Process
The following is a simple explanation of the steps and processes we use to ensure that the quality of the products we manufacture is unsurpassed by any other manufacturer in the world. This example details the steps used to produce enteric coated tablets, including Xtend-Life’s flagship Total Balance complete nutrient system.
While some of the manufacturing processes are different for the products that are produced in hard capsules, soft gels, packets and other delivery systems, we maintain the same rigorous standards at all times, for all products.
For each raw ingredient there are a multitude of manufacturing suppliers scattered around the world. To most people there would seem to be no difference between the same ingredient supplied by any one of these different manufacturers. But…in reality there can be an enormous difference in efficacy and potency, just as there can be an enormous difference in price.
When we source our raw ingredients, price is given a very low priority. Our highest priority is quality…which means efficacy and purity. This is crucial as the finished product can only be as good as the raw ingredients used. When choosing a supplier we do not just rely on Certificates of Analysis when making a decision.
We do a comprehensive series of checks of both the supplier and the material before purchasing. With many ingredients there are a wide range of potencies available, particularly for herbal extracts which can have anything from 1% to 99% of the active ingredient present depending upon the ingredient. We have specific requirements and zero flexibility when selecting our raw ingredients. If they do not conform to the specifications we need for a particular formula, we will not use them.
Every delivery is also tested extensively. Please see below for more details.
This process begins when the raw ingredients arrive in our facility. At that point a sample is taken of each ingredient and the ingredient is placed into a quarantine area until testing is completed on the sample.
This testing includes:
Identification (ID) to confirm the identity of the material.
Assay (Potency) testing to confirm that the active ingredient(s) is present at the level stated by the manufacturer.
Microbiological testing including total plate counts for bacteria, mould and yeast, coliforms, E-coli and Salmonella.
Heavy metal testing. Every delivery of every ingredient is tested for contamination with heavy metals, such as Mercury, Lead, Arsenic and Cadmium.
Other Some ingredients are tested for other qualities that are specific to that material, including Loss on Drying, to ensure the water content is acceptable.
Any delivery that does not meet the required standards is rejected.
Here is a typical example of a test result for a raw material assay (potency) test. This example is for reduced Glutathione. This analysis was done by Cawthron, a New Zealand laboratory that we use on a regular basis.
Providing the sample passes ALL tests it is then released for use in the manufacturing process. All materials that are sensitive to room temperature, such as enzymes, are stored under refrigeration.
This is the start of the manufacturing process for each product. Two technicians carry out this process with one cross-checking the other and maintaining a record of each ingredient. The ingredients for each batch are grouped and every group undergoes a further QC check, then they are ready to be used in the blending/mixing process.
This is one of the most crucial stages. We use pharmaceutical grade 3D blenders/mixers throughout the various blending stages. Unlike most other manufacturers, who use a ribbon type blender and mix for around 20 minutes, our blending protocols involve around five stages (depending on the product) and takes several hours for each batch.
This is critical in order to ensure there is no stratification of ingredients and to ensure that low dose ingredients are properly and evenly dispersed throughout the mix.
Immediately below is a diagram of a typical Manufacturers Blending Process...compare this to Xtend-Life's blending protocol below that.
Xtend-Life Blending Process
During the tableting process, the tablets undergo friability testing to check the tablet's resistance to breakage. The uncoated tablets are also tested for disintegration to confirm that they will break down as intended.
Our standards meet those set out in both the US and British Pharmacopoeia.
Providing the tablets pass this testing then they move to Step 8.
This is another sophisticated process, rarely used in the supplement industry primarily due to the cost. However, because of the complexity of many of our formulas and the sensitivity of some of the ingredients to stomach acid this is a critical step.
Most of the tablets we manufacture therefore utilize this delivery system. Enteric coating enables the tablets to pass through the stomach without the ingredients being damaged or destroyed by stomach acid. This ensures the potency and efficacy of the ingredients is protected. This is particularly important for valuable ingredients such as SAMe and L-Carnosine.
This process requires the application of a coating to the tablet which protects the tablet during its passage through the stomach. When it reaches the upper intestine which has a different pH, the enteric coating disintegrates and passes harmlessly out of the body whilst the active ingredients are absorbed through the intestinal wall.
Enteric coating ensures active ingredients are absorbed properly and maintain their integrity.
Samples of the tablets are now taken and tested for disintegration by simulating the pH levels of both the stomach and the upper intestine. Providing they pass, the tablets move on to step 9. Our standards meet those set out in both the US and British Pharmacopoeia.
The tablets are bottled using our state of the art automated bottling line. The tablets are delivered into the bottles, and the bottles move along the line for the caps to be automatically applied. The caps are applied using precisely controlled pressure to ensure that the seal is pressed onto the bottle, while ensuring that the cap does not jump the thread.
The bottles them move along the line and the labels are applied and the batch information is printed directly onto the labels.