Scotch, cheese, cast iron cookware and your favorite pair of jeans; there’s no denying that some things just get better with age.  Unfortunately, your vitamins are not among them.  Even under ideal conditions, most supplements degrade over time.  Heat, light, humidity and the oxygen in the air all accelerate this process.

When we go grocery shopping, we select the freshest ingredients available.  We recognize that the freshness of our perishables is a reflection of their quality.  We test our fruits and vegetables for ripeness.  We ask the butchers and fishmongers, “Is it fresh?”  So why don’t we check the freshness of our vitamins?  Is checking the expiration date enough?  If you think about it, nutritional supplements are food, in a different form.  If you’re supplementing with pills, instead of VitaMist, then they probably don’t taste as good as food, but their ultimate purpose is the same.  Supplements provide a concentrated form of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), botanicals and even some macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins, sodium, and potassium).  They are no different than food, so we should take the same approach with them that we do when we shop for groceries.  Recognize that their freshness is a reflection of their quality, avoid purchasing ‘overripe‘ supplements and always ask, “Is this fresh?”

To understand the importance of taking our supplements when they’re still fresh, we’ll have to take a look at the process that gets them to your medicine cabinet.  Just as most grocers do not milk cows and pick tomatoes, supplement distributors do not manufacture raw ingredients.  Manufacturers purchase the raw ingredients used from companies such as our partner Glanbia Nutritionals.  These companies serve as bulk suppliers for ingredients, usually powders or liquids.  Here they are tested for purity and potential contaminants, then packaged for bulk distribution.  These companies assign expiration dates for each batch tested and then ship the ingredients out to manufacturers.  The manufacturers usually order these ingredients in large quantities, because it is far cheaper that way.  The problem is that ordering large quantities means that the raw powders and liquids are sitting around in the manufacturing facility for extended periods of time before they’re even used to make a product.  Once the product is made, the manufacturer then slaps an expiration date on it.  This expiration date has nothing to do with the expiration dates provided by the raw ingredient distributor.  Instead, they are the results of stability tests performed before the company ever sold their first supplement.  The expiration dates are often two or three years from the date the product was manufactured.  Furthermore, the tests are performed on products that used fresh ingredients, straight from the distributor, not the ones that sat around in the facility.  So now you have a product with a dubious expiration date sitting in a warehouse owned by the manufacturer or a bulk storage company, waiting to be sold to a distributor.  When they’re sold to a distributor, such as a vitamin shop or grocery store, they sit in the distributor’s storage area until there is shelf space for them.  Even after all this time in storage, that supplement still needs to wait for you to buy it, and from then it will be a month or more until the product is all used up.

Just looking at the size of that last paragraph gives me the impression that this supplement’s freshness is suspect.  Getting a supplement to you is usually a long process, and the whole time this is happening, those nutrients are degrading.  The process is made worse the moment consumers open the bottle.  Pill bottles are air tight because few things will break down a vitamin as rapidly as oxygen and light will.  They are so effective at breaking down nutrients that you can easily test the results yourself.  The first time you open a supplement bottle, give it a whiff.  There shouldn’t be much of an odor to it unless it’s a botanical supplement.  Now try again in a week, then two weeks.  Try smelling that pill bottle after a month, when you’re taking the last capsule.  That odor means that your supplement is getting overripe.  Like a banana that’s been on the counter too long, that supplement has passed its prime.

A Fresh Approach.  VitamiSt!

So what makes VitaMist “The Freshest in the World”?  It’s not one single thing.  We’ll go over the process a VitaMist supplement takes to get to your medicine cabinet, but don’t worry, this paragraph won’t be anywhere near as long.  Rather than taking advantage of the savings we would get from ordering and storing large batches of ingredients from our partners, we order them in much smaller quantities.  This ensures that we often have the most recent batch from our suppliers.  Smaller batches of ingredients mean smaller batches of products.  In fact, we try to time it so that we’re making a new batch of each product every month.  Then we directly ship our products to our affiliates and our online customers, each and every month.

If there were a faster way to get seafood from Maine to your dinner table, you’d probably be pretty happy, wouldn’t you?  Well then, rejoice!  While our B12 spray might not be Maine lobster, it’s much better for you, and we can get it to you faster and fresher than the competition.  But what about once you’ve “opened the bottle”?  Well, obviously we don’t have your typical pill bottle.  We’ve got something better.  Our sprays are protected from light from the time they enter the can until the last drop has been sprayed.  This goes a long way in maintaining freshness, by completely negating the effects of light on our products.  To protect them from the atmosphere, each spray is flushed with with nitrogen to remove any oxygen before the canister is sealed.  Spraying your first spray is like popping the top off a pill bottle, except that instead of the entire containing filling with air, only 0.04 ml of air is injected into the bottle to force and equal amount of spray out.  Since oxygen is around 21% of the atmosphere, with each spray you’ll add approximately 0.0105 ml of oxygen.  In case you don’t recall what a milliliter looks like, it’s pretty darn small.  One one-thousandth of a milliliter is a miniscule amount of oxygen.  Try the smell test with one of our sprays, and you’ll be hard pressed to notice a difference between spray one and spray two hundred and forty.

Of course, some of you have probably realized that over the course of a month, eventually that entire canister will be filled with air.  That’s very true, and it’s why we’ve got a tip to help you make sure that your VitaMist sprays stay fresher, longer.  The oxygen in that canister can only come into contact with any nutrients along the surface area of the liquid.  Any air injected into the canister by the pump or mixed in with the contents by shaking it will quickly rise back up to the top, and separate from the liquid.  This means you can keep your product fresh for longer by reducing the surface area of the fluid.  Standing your products up in the medicine cabinet, or hanging them from one of our lanyards are great ways to prevent degradation!

If you want a good idea of a VitaMist product’s freshness, check the bottom of the canister.  That stamp on the bottom starts with a letter or string of letters that signifies which product you’re looking at.  That string is followed by six numbers;  this is a date, in the form of mmddyy. No, that is not an expiration date.  As I mentioned earlier, an expiration date doesn’t tell us as much about a product’s freshness as you would hope.  That is your product’s Born On Date.  Check this the next time you receive a VitaMist spray, and you’ll see that your products are often made as recently as the very month you received it, or the month before.  Compare that to other manufacturers and there is no denying that VitaMist Spray Vitamins are The Freshest In the World!