HASTA is a commercial product testing organisation for WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) banned substances. Certified products will be labelled with HASTA logo and consumers are able to verify if a product is HASTA-certified on HASTA’s website.
The Brisbane-based BioConcepts is focusing on driving the awareness around its HASTA-certified supplements at home and abroad in markets such as India.
In fact, the company is on a mission to become the official supplier for Brisbane 2032 Olympics.
“That's our big ambitious goal, which is why all the preparation for HASTA-certification,” Yaser Siddiqui, country manager – India, told NutraIngredients-Asia.
“We want to become the largest HASTA-certified range in the world.”
The company sells its practitioner-only supplements under the brand name Orthoplex. About 60 per cent out of its 100 SKUs are HASTA-certified; this includes not only its sports nutrition products, but also nutraceuticals such as fish oil.
In India, the company works with distributors who sell its supplements to healthcare practitioners, dieticians, and nutritionists who then recommend the supplements to athletes.
So far, the company is selling eight Orthoplex SKUs to about 100 healthcare practitioners across major Indian cities, including Delhi, Bombay, and Bangalore, according to Siddiqui.
Out of the eight SKUs, four are HASTA-certified while one is pending certification.
This year, the company aims to drive awareness of its HASTA-certified products among the Olympic-level athletes and more sports nutritionists, sports associations in India – a new goal it has set for itself since debuting in India five years ago.
While the knowledge of HASTA-certification is still low among India’s healthcare practitioners, he believes that the certification will work to the firm’s advantage in winning over these professionals.
“Our interaction is with the healthcare practitioner, and we feel that these kind of high standards of certification, purity, and product testing will actually compliment the doctors’ [expertise] when he or she prescribes medicine to their patients.
“The doctors need not have second thoughts when prescribing our supplements and we are very clear about our products, we disclose our excipients, the possible contraindications with the practitioners, such that it’s like an open book in front of the practitioners.
“Our goal is to reach 1,000 healthcare practitioners by the end of financial year 2025.”
The company also operates an educational website dedicated to healthcare practitioners known as Bio Concepts Engage.
Another priority for this year is to grow its presence among pro athletes training for major events such as Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
“Our engagement is through sports coaches, even the Sports Authority of India, we're trying to get in touch with them. We will also work with
HASTA in terms of how best we can educate, what exactly is a HASTA certification and how it’s beneficial.”
The company will be launching SarcoCare – a powder supplement for energy and musculoskeletal health in India in April.
The product, currently undergoing HASTA certification, contains calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (Ca HMB), creatine monohydrate, and pea protein from pisum sativum seed extract as the active ingredients.
According to Siddiqui, the firm’s current bestsellers are CitraMag and BioActive Lipids, which are both HASTA-certified.
CitraMag is a capsule containing magnesium as the active ingredient for maintaining the muscle, nerve, cardiovascular functions and energy levels.
BioActive Lipids, on the other hand, is a fish oil omega-3 capsule that claims to support cognitive function.
HASTA testing process
Over 200 WADA prohibited substances, including anabolic agents, peptide hormones, growth factors, stimulants, beta-blockers, and cannabinoids, are tested for HASTA-certified products, according to HASTA’s website.
“To earn the certification, a minimum of five successful test results from three batches of each product is required.
“Once certified, every new batch of the product must then be sent away for third party testing to retain full HASTA Certification,” said Siddiqui.