The certification procedure

The certification procedure

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Testfakta Bio-based is a voluntary programme for certifying and labelling bio-based products. Part of the certification involves analysis of their bio-based content. Certified products are labelled with a consumer-friendly symbol that clearly displays the proportion of bio-based material in the product.

Published: Nov, 27, 2018

One fundamental criterion for Testfakta Bio-based certification is that a high proportion of the product must be bio-based, compared with other, similar products. Another is that the product must meet essential environmental and performance requirements.

The minimum proportion of bio-based content required for certification varies among product categories. 

Manufacturer’s details confirmed in analysis
Companies register their interest in certifying products, and it is the company’s responsibility to attest that the product meets the certification criteria. The product also undergoes an independent analysis in which its bio-based composition is measured. Confirmation of the manufacturer’s data concerning the proportion of bio-based content is thus obtained by a scientifically based, transparent method.

Special label for entirely plant-based products
For companies wishing to emphasise that their product contains no material of animal origin, there is a special label: Testfakta Bio-based from Plant. For this symbol to be used, the product’s bio-based content must be 100% plant-based, and this must be documented by the product owner. The technical analysis gives no answer as to whether the bio-based content is from a plant or animal source.

Packaging can also be labelled
Companies with certified products can choose to specify the proportion of bio-based material in their packaging as well.

The certification process, step by step:

  1. Registration of interest
    The owner of a product registers interest in certifying it, preferably using the form for the purpose accessed at the bottom of this page.

  2. Specification of requirements
    Based on product type, we contact the owner with specific certification requirements, including the necessary documentation, and a detailed account of the certification process and costs.

  3. Certification agreement
    The product owner and Testfakta Bio-based sign an agreement on assessment and certification.

  4. Assessment of the product
    The documentation is investigated and the proportion of biomass in the product analysed. The review and analysis results are reported to the product owner.

  5. Product labelling
    If the product meets the certification requirements, an agreement is signed on the manufacturer’s right to label the product as Testfakta Bio-based.

Laboratory determination of bio-based composition
Bio-based products may contain renewable materials only, but usually consist of a mixture of renewable and fossil materials. The product composition is measured and ascertained by an independent testing laboratory. This analysis shows how much of the product content is bio-based. The number on the label refers to the percentage of bio-based content.
The scientifically based method of analysis is applicable to products and packaging of all kinds. The analysis provides information about the proportion of bio-based content in the final product, but not on how much bio-based content was used during production.

How the technical analysis is done
The bio-based content of a product can be analysed in a laboratory. This analysis is based on the carbon-14 dating method, which is used for such purposes as determining the age of archaeological finds.
The method determines the total quantity of organic carbon in the product analysed and the bio-based proportion of this carbon (according to standard ASTM D6866). If the measured proportion of bio-based carbon is 100%, it means that 100% of the carbon (in the product) comes from plants or animal by-products. If the proportion of bio-based carbon is found to be 0%, this means that all the organic carbon (in the product) comes from oil or other fossil resources.
Based on the proportion of bio-based organic carbon, the proportion of the product's total mass (total weight), or total carbon content (organic and inorganic carbon), which comes from renewable sources is calculated. The reporting of the proportion of bio-based content follows current guidelines and recommendations.

Are you interested in getting a product certified?
If you would like to know more about the certification or have other questions, please contact us.


Criteria for certification
  • The product’s bio-based content must exceed a certain proportion of the product’s total content. The minimum proportion required for certification varies for different product categories.

  • The biomass must come from environmentally sustainable production, and must not adversely affect food production.

  • The product must comply with laws and regulations for environmental and health protection, both nationally and within the EU, including the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation.

  • Products must meet essential performance requirements.


Documentation requirements

The documentation must include information on the proportion of biomass in the product and the origin of the biomass. In addition, a technical specification and a certificate stating that the product meets legal requirements, both nationally and in the EU, are necessary.

Most of the data are part of existing information about products launched on the European market. This facilitates handling and simplifies the application process.

All documentation is, of course, treated as confidential.

Send us an email with information about the type of product and which markets the product is sold. We shall then send you more detailed information about certification criteria, documentation requirements, the certification process and costs.