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The Patented TRAACS® Test

The testing method that Albion Human Nutrition has developed for the TRAACS identification process has been issued a US patent (#7,144,737, Process for determining percent chelation in a dry mixture). However, we will not use this patent to prevent anyone from using this breakthrough method. Albion would like this method to become commonplace in the industry. Our key technical personnel will be able to provide guidance in using this new testing technique.

Albion has been using this testing method to validate its mineral amino acid chelates. With the introduction of TRAACS, Albion has also introduced an advanced certificate of analysis (COA) to further underscore the validity of the Albion produced mineral amino acid chelates. This advanced COA features the FT-IR tracing for the TRAAC product range. This will give our customers a valid method for the identification of the amino acid chelates in question. To date, Albion is the only chelate manufacturer that is providing identification and identification methods for its chelates.

It is our hope that over time, dietary supplement, pharmaceutical, and food companies will begin to use this test as a matter of routine when doing their QC on incoming mineral amino acid chelate materials. By doing so, these companies will be certain that they are supplying their customers with a validated mineral amino acid chelate, and the consumer can buy from them with confidence that they are getting what they paid for.

Testing Mineral Amino Acid Chelates

Albion Human Nutrition has often been approached to test mineral amino chelates that have been produced by other mineral suppliers. In truth, we have not found that any of our competitors have produced a mineral amino acid chelate that meets the definition of a reacted mineral amino acid chelate as defined by the NNFA (see in table 2).


Metal Amino Acid Chelate is the product resulting from the reaction of a metal ion from a soluble metal salt with amino acids with a mole ratio of one mole of metal to one to three (preferably two) moles of amino acids to form coordinate covalent bonds. The average molecular weight of the hydrolyzed amino acids must be about 150 AMU (Atomic Mass Units) and the resulting chelate must not exceed 800 AMU. The minimum elemental metal content must be declared. It will be declared as a METAL amino acid chelate; e.g. Copper Amino Acid Chelate. 

Adopted by the NNFA Board of Directors July 1996 


With the advent of this new AAOC approved test method, Albion has used this test on some of the competitions’ chelates, along with some additional tests that we know give further evidence of an ingredient being a reacted mineral amino acid chelate. In Figure 3, the FT-IR test was applied to Albion's branded ferrous bisglycinate chelate (Ferrochel®) and a sample of another manufacturer's “equivalent” iron amino acid chelate. As demonstrated in the results, it is evident the competition's “chelate” is not a chelate, and thus not equivalent to Albion's Ferrochel.

Figure 3. Ferrochel graph.