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Ingredient verification through carbon-14 testing

Third-party authentication of personal care and cosmetic product ingredients is vital to validate natural-source claims. In response, manufacturers, distributors, and other industry stakeholders often opt to measure the biobased (biomass-derived) content of product ingredients through carbon-14 analysis. Since biomass contains a known amount of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 while petroleum-based ingredients do not contain any carbon-14, the percentage of carbon in a material derived from recently living sources, such as plants, can be calculated. Thus, according to standards like ASTM D6866, carbon-14 testing, which is applicable to liquids, solids, and gases, determines the amount of biomass-based material used in the formulation of a product compared to more readily available and less expensive petrochemical-derived alternatives.

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