A researcher of the Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC) checks an ingredient of red ginseng products at the company’s research lab. Photo courtesy of KGC

Korea’s top red ginseng company carrying out more than 430 tests on ginseng

To become the products of South Korea’s most prestigious red ginseng brand, CheongKwanJang, ginseng is required to go through more than 430 tests.

The Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC) said on Sept. 9 that the Seoul-based company recently increased the number of test categories from 293 to 432 for more sophisticated quality control.

All ginseng farmers, who typically sign multi-year contracts with KGC, should pass all the tests a total of seven times during eight years to provide their ginseng.

As KGC uses six-year-old ginseng, and it typically takes two years to make red ginseng products, tests are conducted on 432 categories seven times, according to the company.

“The safety standards started getting stringent in 2019 when the government raised the ginseng safety standards by 50 percent to some 150,” a KGC official said.

“In addition, foreign countries also keep a tab on the safety of ginseng products. Accordingly, we decided to preemptively increase the number of test categories to more than 430.”

KCG’s tests are notoriously strict; in case 0.01 milligram of chlorinated organic compounds are found for 1 kilogram of ginseng, KCG does not accept.

Its ability to analyze the components of ginseng is second to none, as amply demonstrated by the recognition by the Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme.

CheongKwanJang could win the hearts and minds of customers via continued research and strict quality control,” KGC research head Park Chae-gyu said.

“We will make products that consumers can trust through more strengthened safety tests.”

Korean red ginseng has gained popularity over the past two years as people recognize its role in enhancing resistance to disease or microbial attacks after the virus pandemic.

In particular, Korean red ginseng won the moniker of “immunity booster.” CheongKwanJang is the top brand of the country’s red ginseng.