Does your protein meet it’s label claim

Reflex Nutrition double certified protein content

Protein Testing

Today I’m writing about Reflex Nutrition’s direction in terms of product development and absolute focus on quality. It has come up because over the last few months I’ve had a few meetings with some key figures within the industry and we’re all in agreement that there appears to be a literal flood of low quality poorly formulated products finding their way into the market place sold cheap in big volumes. We did some testing and here’s what happened.

Testing Times

There are a number of products we’ve tested in our lab for protein content and we’ve also sent some off for third party testing to get a complete picture. The results are shocking. For example we’ve tested a bag of 2kg Whey Protein product sold in the U.K on numerous websites claiming to have 70% protein, apparently it tasted amazing and was also quite cheap. I’m afraid to say that cheap and quality really never go hand in hand and the results in this case quite clearly illustrate this. The results to be frank are shocking and at the time I thought that our testing procedure was wrong because the results were so close to a reference material we had been using to calibrate our machinery just before hand it could have been a mistake. You see every single time we carry out any protein testing we calibrate our machine to ensure our results are absolutely accurate. We use a lab reference material called EDTA and it has a protein content of around 60%.

Our calibration is slightly different and more robust than the one described in the above link, in fact Leco (manufacturers of protein testing equipment) have adopted our new calibration procedure because it provides better accuracy, but we’re only talking about 0.25% +/-. The message here is that our in house testing is normally more accurate than third party labs. So back to the results. We tested the whey protein again and again; in addition we also tested another flavour in the same range. The results were exactly the same, 59%- 60% protein. No wonder people say it tastes great; the other 40% margin of error is probably milk sugar and flavouring. I’m not here to name and shame, I’ve done that in the past and it all it does is bring legal battles. Whilst I’m more than happy to defend our position using a robust legal chain of custody I think that my time is better spent on supplying protein powders that match the label claim to within 0.5%-1%.

3rd Party Protein Testing and more

We started having our protein powders tested independently over ten years ago as part of our ISO9001 Quality Control Procedures to prove our industry leading protein contents. At the time I really thought that people would catch on and realise that everyone should be offering this as standard, as we do. It simply never happened and there are literally only a handful of companies in the world that are proving their protein content (credit to them), some USA brands, one European but apart from Reflex, no other UK brands that I know of. (please email me if I’m wrong). During that ten years since we started testing we built our first lab to test for protein content at our old site in Hove about 6 years ago, and of course more recently we are now in the Reflex Science Park where we have a significantly superior purpose built lab for protein testing, quality control testing, microbiological testing, shelf life testing and lots of other very useful tests that allow Reflex to develop very high quality sports nutrition products. Our most recent testing procedure for protein content showcases in the imminent launch of new 3D Protein and 100% Native Whey. They undergo full third Party testing in an ISO17025 Accredited Lab for label claims and then we carry out individual protein analysis of every single batch we manufacture. The idea is to ensure that the two tests come to within 1% of each.

They should do because we use the same manufacturer of protein testing equipment. These results will soon be displayed on our website for consumers to be able to verify that their tub of protein powder is both legitimate and meeting its claim for protein. You will see the logo displayed on the front of packaging indicating that it is part of the testing regime.


If you want some simple advice on “which protein powder?” I would recommend that you ask the brand you are considering the following questions;

  • Do they make their own supplements?
  • Do they protein test?
  • Who undertook the tests?
  • Where are the test results?
  • Has anyone tested their products independently?
  • Are they ISO9001 Registered?
  • Is there a full unconditional money back guarantee?



Bearing in mind that you are investing in your health and performance, we believe that you are owed peace of mind in the answers you receive.

If you want the best protein powders don’t expect them to be the cheapest, and yes the saying if something is too good to be true it usually is and you absolutely get what you pay for. Stick with a reputable company and it’s one less thing to worry about! If you think this article is a good read please share it or like it.



James Phillips

Founder of Reflex Nutrition in 1996. James Phillips has arguably more first-hand knowledge with regard to the manufacture and design of whey protein and sports nutrition products than anyone in the industry today. There is little this man does not know about supplements during his 20 years in the business.

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