Legacy of Innovation
Nature's Sunshine began with a single innovative idea: putting herbs into capsules to make dietary supplements easy to consume. This simple idea revolutionized and led to the birth of the herbal and vitamin supplement market we know today.
Founded in 1972 by the Hughes family, Nature's Sunshine has grown into a global organization that distributes transformative nutritional supplements to health professionals around the world.
Throughout our history, Nature's Sunshine has embraced new technologies , testing procedures and manufacturing processes to ensure that only the purest nutrients always carry the Sunshine Nature name. We are proud to continue our legacy of innovation with the opening of the Center for Research and Innovation in February 2015. Hughes.
This facility was designed to fully unleash the power of nature to combat mega health trends driven by poor nutrition and lifestyle choices through natural, nutritious therapeutic products.
Hughes Center for Research and Innovation
Equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and combining the skills of scientists, researchers and medical professionals, the Hughes Research and Innovation Center provides a unique environment for scientific discovery and advancement, and is the center for the development of new Nature's Sunshine products.
Using advanced technology to verify the identity, purity and potency of individual ingredients, our staff works to identify synergistic combinations of ingredients and create unique formulations that will undergo clinical trials to confirm their safety and effectiveness.
For over 40 years, Nature's Sunshine has been recognized as the industry standard for high-quality dietary supplements. Now, thanks to scientific discovery and the support of our world-renowned manufacturing expertise, Nature's Sunshine is changing the way herbal and vitamin supplements are developed. Through the Hughes Center for Research and Innovation, we advance the science of wellness.
Department for receiving raw materials
It is in this department that the production process begins. Vitamins, raw materials from medicinal plants, liquids, bottles and boxes are delivered here; here they are kept in quarantine. The Quality Control Department (QC) then takes samples of the materials and puts them through a series of checks to ensure their integrity and effectiveness, as well as to identify their features. If the raw material passes the test with a positive result, it is removed from quarantine and placed in a warehouse. If the raw material does not meet the requirements for it, it is returned to the supplier. The receiving department employs twelve people and operates around the clock from Monday to Friday inclusive.
Order department and distribution center
In total, the company has several departments for receiving orders, including in Utah, Ohio, Texas and Georgia.
All domestic and international orders flow to the distribution center and products are sent from here to cities in the United States and to other countries. The company has a number of domestic distribution centers located in Atlanta, Georgia, Columbia, Ohio, Dallas, Texas and Spanish Fork, Utah. NSP also ships products to over 50 different countries.
Product packaging and shipping department
Orders are inspected to ensure that they have been completed correctly and products are packaged to prevent any damage. The boxes are stuffed with special polystyrene packing material. A special machine seals the boxes automatically. To seal larger and heavier packages, a device is used that gives them additional fastening.
The Hughes Center for Research and Innovation
This 5,400-square-foot, multi-million dollar facility is built to develop unique, innovative products based on the latest scientific discoveries, research, and laboratory analysis. Research and Development - A team of seven scientists, including five PhDs and two MDs, is working to create new products and test new ingredients and formulas. Specialists are guided by current trends in the field of human health to create innovative products. To evaluate the effectiveness of new formulas developed using state-of-the-art equipment, the NSP team conducts its own product trials, involving volunteers.
Laboratory for quality control of medicinal plants
All medicinal plants are tested in this laboratory. The company's employees use more than 600 tests and procedures to ensure that the quality of NSP products is the highest. It is thanks to the combination of various tests that laboratory employees receive a 100% guarantee of the quality of each product.
Gas Chromatography Laboratory
This lab contains gas chromatographs. With the help of gas chromatography, complex mixtures can be separated into individual components and the quantitative content of these components can be determined. Testing ingredients with a gas chromatograph and ionizing detector gives NSP 100% assurance that they are free of impurities and are of the highest quality. A second gas chromatograph can also be used in conjunction with an electronic trapping detector. An electronic detector is needed to test medicinal plants and other raw materials for the presence of harmful impurities such as pesticides and mercury.
The Vitamin Laboratory has all the necessary equipment for testing vitamins and raw materials such as CoQ10. High pressure liquid chromatography is primarily used to test such materials. Through HPLC testing, laboratory staff can test raw materials for purity and potency. The chromatograph is also used to determine whether the content of the finished product matches the information on the label.
Laboratory for quality control of mineral substances
The combination of state-of-the-art technology and highly trained staff ensures the quality and purity of NSP's natural products and gives them an undeniable advantage over other companies. Any product that needs to be analyzed for the presence of minerals or for the presence of mineral contamination is delivered to the mineral laboratory. Laboratory equipment allows you to check the presence of minerals and their quantity, as well as to check raw materials, including medicinal plants, for the presence of undesirable impurities such as arsenic, lead, aluminum and cadmium.
Microbiological testing is essential to ensure the high quality and safety of products. Since the ingredients that make up NSP products are natural substances and come to the company from different parts of the globe, there is a possibility of contamination of raw materials with trace elements and pathogens such as E. coli or Salmonella. Any type of raw material is tested in a microbiological laboratory. The Bactometer is a state of the art instrument that allows the company to accurately, reliably and fairly quickly test raw materials for microbiological contamination. Microbiological testing includes determination of the total number of microorganisms: yeasts, molds and pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas. The laboratory also tests the company's anaerobic products (such as Bifidophilus Flora Force) to ensure that the amount of anaerobic substances contained in the final products exactly matches the amount indicated on the labels.
Evaluation and distribution of material
People who distribute content are a special category. In their work, they are guided by a computer-generated material selection list or "recipe". The material selection operator collects the raw materials specified in the list for a particular order and distributes it in such a way that it is convenient for the dosing operator to dose the material for each order, the dosing team with great care and in accordance with the list fills the stainless steel drum or fiberglass raw material. Before selecting a particular product for an order, the operator identifies the following raw material parameters: lot number, part number, warehouse address, verified product name, required quantity, and a visual inspection of the raw material is also performed. After the raw material is loaded into the drums, it is turned over and the product is driven through a conical mill, which breaks up lumps. Some types of raw materials need to be subjected to additional conditioning. Here's how it goes. A ribbon mixer mixes liquid and dry medicinal plants to prepare concentrates. Before subjecting the concentrated material to crushing, moisture is removed from it by means of air drying. The crusher crushes the dried concentrated raw material, thus preparing it for further processing. After passing through the mill and conditioning, the product enters a special container located in the loading compartment.
Filling the container
The raw material flows through a flat pipe into the containers from the rooms located above them. The containers are airtight, which prevents airborne dust from entering them. After filling the container with raw material, the flat tube is removed and the container is weighed to determine the weight of the raw material. For greater accuracy, the weight of the raw materials contained in each container is compared with the weight of the product received. After weighing, the product in the container is ready for mixing. A label with order information is attached to each container from the outside.
Washing the container
The containers are washed after each mixing operation. The containers are delivered to the washing room, where the valves and lids are removed and washed separately. Each container is connected to a washer. The container is washed with soapy water under high pressure, and then finally rinsed with water using the reverse osmosis method. During automatic washing of the inside of the tank, the operator manually washes the outside of the tank, and also rinses and cleans the lids and valves. After the containers and other parts are washed, the containers are placed in the drying chamber. Hot air is used in the drying process and the whole procedure takes 15 minutes. After drying, the clean parts are fixed again on the containers.
Mixing herbs and vitamins
All products to be mixed go into the mixing container. The contents of the container must be thoroughly mixed in order to obtain a homogeneous mass. Each container is connected to the mixer and secured with four brackets. The operator carefully reads the instructions, which indicate the time required to obtain a homogeneous mixture. On average, one operation takes 15 minutes. After the mixing time, the container is detached and delivered to another compartment for further processing.
Mixing liquid products
With the move to the new building, a state-of-the-art liquid mixing system was purchased. This allows the department to work more efficiently and efficiently. The new system is equipped with mixing tanks, a new advanced reverse osmosis system and a new dosing system, all of which are computer controlled and serviced by operators. In addition to the fact that the new system is equipped with larger tanks, it is much cleaner than the previous one in terms of ecology. All tanks and hoses are washed automatically using a special system. This cleaning system is touch screen controlled and operated by operators.
All single and multi-ingredient herbal products are encapsulated here. Empty gelatin capsules are placed in funnels located above the devices and then enter the device and are suctioned into separate cells by vacuum. Then the lower part of the capsule is filled with the product, which enters the funnel of the device from a container made of stainless steel, located above the device. After that, the capsule closes and is thrown into the cleaner. The capsule cleaner removes any medicinal plant residues that may have stuck to the outside of the capsule and dumps the capsules into drums, which then deliver them to another line.
Rotating devices compress tablets at a rate of 75,000 tablets per hour. The product is placed in a hopper located above the pressing machine and fed through a flat chute into the press. Then, in a special mold, the product is pressed into tablets using perforators, the gravity of which is about 2 tons. After that, the tablets are pushed into the drum. When passing along the line, the weight, density, mass and appearance of the tablets are checked. This information is recorded in order to avoid deviations from established standards. To apply a protective coating, the tablets are loaded into a machine resembling a large dry-cleaning machine. Then the tablets are mixed, heated and doused with an aqueous solution, which comes from five sprayers inside the device. This procedure helps to increase the shelf life of the tablets and facilitates the packaging process (not to mention swallowing). The finished sample is sent for quality control. Then the tablets are placed in drums and delivered to one of the packaging areas.
Packaging of liquid products
This line is used to package all liquid products of the company. In most cases, a Kalish filler is used to fill containers with liquid products. The device is fully automatic and is controlled by a computer in accordance with a previously set program. However, some products, due to their viscosity, cannot be passed through Kalish filler. In such cases, a simplex filler is used. The line consists of capping machine, capping machine for 2 oz vials, vial capping machine, stretch film wrapping machine, labeling machine and stamping machine. Almost all liquid products are either drained or mixed in tanks located on the top floor. In addition to these tanks, the company has a new reverse osmosis system that guarantees the highest quality of our products.
500,000 labels are produced weekly, which corresponds to the amount of finished product. Labels for various countries with specific requirements of a particular country can be provided at any time. The computer helps to get accurate information about the number of labels at the moment. All labels are produced in-house at one of the two label manufacturing facilities. Upon receipt of the labels from the manufacturer, quality control personnel check the labels for defects and errors.
Packaging of bulk products
This line packs bulk teas and other products. After the vials are filled, they are sealed with caps. The vials are then passed through a tunnel where they are checked by a photovoltaic cell and cleaned with compressed air. Vials made of polyvinyl chloride are wrapped and passed through a hot tunnel in order to form a protective film. Other vials are passed under a sealing device that covers the cap and top of the vial with a film so that it cannot be opened without violating the integrity of the film. Then, using the device, a label is glued onto the bottle and the batch code is applied.
Packaging lines for encapsulated and tablet products
The plate filler is designed in such a way that it can accept, along with encapsulated products, products compressed into tablets of various sizes. Due to the special design of the filler, the packaging team has the opportunity to prepare for the reception of tablets of various configurations and different quantities. The line also packs encapsulated products into vials. The equipment of the line consists of a lamellar filler, a vial wadding device, a vial capping device, a labeling device, a device for covering vials with a protective film and a stamping coder. In addition, the line is equipped with appropriate rotary tables and conveyor belts.
Packaging machines for pouches
For packaging powders in foil bags, or tablets and capsules in polyethylene bags, additional equipment is used.
We've covered the main areas of a full-scale manufacturing process, but not all of them. The equipment of production workshops is constantly updated, processes are automated, the latest software is used to ensure the highest quality of the company's products. Every year, the company's production sites are inspected for compliance with GMP standards.