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In the 29 years since he bought Santa Fe-based Herbs, Etc. from its founder, herbalist Daniel Gagnon has worked hard to meet demand from the more than 2,000 U.S. retailers that carry the liquid herbal extracts and herbal medicines he manufactures.
Because quality control was critical to establishing and maintaining the company’s reputation, Gagnon imposed rigorous anti-microbial standards for his potions.
Traditionally, Gagnon eliminated unwanted microbes by processing his herbs with water and alcohol. But in 2000, he developed a way to remove the alcohol to produce an alcohol-free product using olive oil and soft gel encapsulation.
Gagnon tested the microbial levels for his products by sending samples to independent laboratories. When what seemed like elevated microbial levels or spikes were reported, Gagnon dumped what he assumed were contaminated batches.
After several spikes and product losses, Gagnon turned to the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) program for advice and assistance.
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