Are your Fit Father Protein Powders tested for heavy metals?

Question: Hey FFP Team, are your protein powders (whey and plant-based) tested for heavy metals? This is an important concern for me.

Answer: Yes! This is an important concern for us too. That's why we rigorously test all our protein powder supplements to ensure the utmost quality, accuracy, and safety. All tests take place at the manufacturer's QA department. The per serving amount of each ingredient is tested to verify per formulation. Additionally, other tests are conducted for microbial contamination. All have to pass for a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) to be issued. 

First though (for a bit of context), there are 4 common heavy metals that are essential to test in protein powder: Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury. These metals are essential to test for because some BAD protein powders are very high in them, and all of these heavy metals can be toxic in high doses. 

It's important to know that heavy metals not necessarily "evil." They are naturally occurring substances found in the earth's crust (including in the soil). As such, they can also be found in many foods you find at your local grocery store. Recognizing this fact, the FDA published a study on minerals and heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead, in a variety of foods.  You can see the full 2017 “Total Diet Study Element Results Summary Statistics on Market Baskets 2006 through 2013” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition here (FDA study linked). 

To give you some context, here are a few examples from this FDA study of foods that contain traces of heavy metals:

  • 1 large cucumber may contain 3.08mcg arsenic
  • 2 cups of strawberries may contain an average of 4.56mcg cadmium
  • Adding 2 cups of spinach into a smoothie equates to in 0.24mcg lead

Key Insight: All of these foods are still very good for you. Simply because there may be detectable amounts of heavy metals in these foods does not render them unsafe to consume, nor does it detract from the benefits derived by including them in a regular meal plan, such as fiber and antioxidants from spinach and berries, or vitamins and minerals found in cucumbers.

Enough about veggies! What Are Permitted Concentrations of Heavy Metals In Protein Powder?
Standards from the World Health Organization (WHO): Standards from the National Science Foundation (NSF): Standards from the Environmental Protection Agency:
Arsenic: 10 ppm Arsenic: 10 ppm Arsenic: 20 ppm
Lead: 4.1 ppm Lead: 6 ppm Lead: 10 ppm
Cadmium: 10 ppm Cadmium: 20 ppm Cadmium: 10-30 ppm
Mercury: 2 ppb Mercury: 20.3 ppb Mercury: 4 ppb
* ppm stands for "parts per million; it's a concentration standard. 4.1 ppm of lead means that the allowable concentration of lead in a product can be NO MORE than 4.1 parts lead per million parts of the solution.

We do our heavy metal testing for the heavy lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium through a partner company called Simpson Labs that utilizes a high-tech process known as ICP/MS (inductively coupled plasma/mass spectroscopy). This is a highly sophisticated process that's able to detect heavy metals at concentrations as low as one part per quadrillion. It makes our heads hurt even thinking about how tiny of a detection amount that is! 

Anyway, ICP/MS is among the most powerful methods in the industry for trace element detection. Therefore, it becomes possible to detect metals at levels well below regulatory thresholds and therefore much less than any risk-causing amount.

Now to the good stuff! Here's where our SuperFuel Proteins recently tested at at:
Whey Vanilla SuperFuel: Whey Chocolate SuperFuel Plant-Based Chocolate SuperFuel
Arsenic: 0.003 ppm Arsenic: 0.029 ppm Arsenic: 0.055 ppm
Lead: 0.042 ppm Lead: 0.012 ppm Lead: 0.024 ppm
Cadmium: 0.003 ppm Cadmium: 0.010 ppm Cadmium: 0.004 ppm
Mercury: 0.003 ppm Mercury: 0.005 ppm Mercury: 0.058 ppm
Compare our testing results to the allowable limits from the various authority organizations (shown above), and I believe you will be very happy like we are :-)

In Summary: We take your health and our product quality incredibly seriously. You can enjoy your Fit Father Protein (and our other supplements) with proven confidence in our quality and safety.

-The FFP Team

P.S. Here's the link to our supplements on the FFP Store for the products mentioned: