What’s the Difference Between
Commodity and Branded Ingredients?

Cheaper ingredients are generally bought by price as commodities. Usually a broker buys up material from a number of sources as cheaply as possible and resells it for a profit. Before materials reach the market, much of it changes hands through traders, aggregators, and exporters, and this way it is susceptible to intentional and unintentional adulteration.

Tracing the chain of custody is out of the question, making it impossible to know how it was made, from what raw material, if it was protected from contamination and spoilage along the way, if it is adulterated, and other things we think are important to know. Even if a manufacturer runs a battery of tests on ingredients sourced this way to check for adulteration, microbial contamination, identity and heavy metals, and the best ones do, some of these questions can’t be answered.

Branded ingredients, on the other hand, are tracked. The maker will know what the raw material was, where it came from, how it was stored and transported, how the ingredient was processed and the best way to handle it for manufacturing the finished product. They also have a vested interest in their quality.


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