Our raw materials are handled in a way that ensures our adherence to the highest international standards for dried foods and herbs, as laid out in the African Herbal Pharmacopoeia
Bright Mountain Oils is certified organic by Ecocert, NOP & EOS, for the production and trade of cold-pressed oils, tea cuts, plant powders and more. Everything we produce is tested for pesticides, microbes and heavy metals.Testing is performed by Precision Laboratories, SMT Labs and Hearshaw & Kinnes (SANAS accredited laboratories).
Raw plant material must meet our quality standards for purity and is batched according to village, which means that each batch can be traced back to the specific family who harvested it. To ensure that strict control is maintained over the product that moves in and out of our processing and storage facility, each batch is assigned a unique number, which specifies the supplier invoice, and the manufacturing and expiry dates. This batch number corresponds to a certificate of analysis (COA), which is sent out with each batch. In addition, we strive to abide by international protocols, such as HACCP and ISO, and to conform to the international standards of botanical identification (HPLC).
This week, we interviewed Paula Nosenzo, Quality Control Manager at Bright Mountain Oils, to provide some further insight into our quality control standards and procedures for our organic products.
1. What does “organic” mean in the context of cold-pressed organic rosehip seed oil?
“Organic means that the entire process, from growing and harvesting the rosehip seed to producing the final product, is strictly managed, and controlled, including the manufacturing, packaging and storing of the rosehip oil before shipping the product. The measures put in place ensure that the product is not contaminated in any way (e.g., through pesticides or other adulteration at any point in the process). Cold-pressed organic oil means the oil retains as much of the oil’s natural integrity as possible. If the oil has an organic label, you can be sure that it is 100% pure, natural oil manufactured according to the strictest standards.”
2. How can a customer know if the oil they are purchasing is truly organic?
“Customers can investigate to see whether the company and that particular product is organically certified. Bright Mountain Oils is audited annually by Ecocert, an external company that provides organic certification only if all the requirements for organic certification are strictly met. Customers are welcome to request a copy of our organic certification, which we will email to them.”
3. What quality checks and measures are involved in the production of rosehip oil?
“Organic rosehip seed arrives from being sorted at source and samples are taken immediately for analysis of quality. Seed is stored correctly on pallets off the floor in a hygienic, safe, and dry environment. Rosehip seed is then cold pressed - under strict standards - to extract the oil. Quality checks are put in place throughout our rosehip oil production process. Quality checklists for safety and hygiene are signed off at each stage of the process. Ongoing personnel training in production procedures and quality checks is also high on our list as this training empowers our staff and has a beneficial impact on the quality of oil produced. The environment and machines used for pressing are kept in optimal condition and continuously inspected to ensure that, in the seed to oil transition, the oil is not exposed to any contaminants (such as dust, insects, or machine grease). We also ensure staff are wearing the correct PPE at all stages of production. Machine maintenance also ranks highly for us: machines are stripped and cleaned every week, and machine parts are inspected for wear and tear and replaced when appropriate. Each batch of oil is tested at approved laboratories to ensure that the profile of the oil meets international standards before being marketed.
4. What makes our oils stand out in the market?
We stand out as a business because we consistently produce good quality oils, which indicates that our recipe for success works. I could use the analogy of baking a cake to describe our quality control measures – achieving success means following the recipe carefully and precisely, and not taking any shortcuts. I find it most satisfying and rewarding to walk through each department and, on visual inspection, find that our standards are well maintained throughout the production process. We also ensure that we source only the highest quality raw materials, upon which the quality of our final products is dependent.
Learn more about our organic rosehip seed oil: https://www.brightmountainoils.co.za/organicrosehipoil