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Exploring a CBD Certificate of Analysis: Part 6 of a Series

Meet the Team Behind Our Test Results

“Caliper is in our name, because we’re all about measuring precisely,” explains Keith Woelfel, our Director of Research & Development. “It’s the bedrock of everything we do.”

Indeed, every batch of Caliper is measured and tested—frequently and rigorously—to make sure that the Caliper CBD Dissolvable Powder you buy is of highest quality and safety. To do this, we work with some of the nation’s top testing laboratories, and maintain our own Emerald-certified in-house lab, with state-of-the-art instrumentation. You can see the results of that diligence when you read our comprehensive laboratory report, known as a Certificate of Analysis (COA).

But all that wouldn’t matter if Keith hadn’t had the vision to bring in a team of experts to guide that testing, documentation and reporting, right from the start. He called on his 20+ years of experience as food scientist with M&M Mars, where he developed and launched over 50 food and beverage products, from chocolate to nutrient-enhanced snacks—as well as his work developing the proprietary technology that powered the development of Caliper.

Meet some of this exceptionally talented group of individuals who bring more than 100 years of experience to their work!

Keith Woelfel Director of Research & Development
Petros Levis Director of Manufacturing and Quality
Petros Levis Director of Manufacturing and Quality

Petros is a food and sensory scientist with his feet firmly planted in process and business management. A former Vice President of R&D at Danone, he’s worked with major food companies and startups—and at Caliper, he oversees our manufacturing operations, supply chains, and quality. Or, as he explains it, “my goal is to strengthen what we have and get us ready for the next level of expertise in all our processes.”

Petros also came to us at just the right time. Three weeks after he joined the Caliper team, the COVID-19 pandemic hit—and he leapt into action. He redesigned our facilities and safety operations to ensure that every employee was safe, and that our manufacturing processes kept humming. His expertise helped us weather the unprecedented, while keeping our quality standards and production levels consistently strong.

“Petros brings us operational excellence,” adds Keith. “He’s the reason that when you buy a product with our CBD in it, you can be assured that it will always be the same, and always meets the highest standards.”

Victor Zesinger Senior Manager, Quality & Food Safety
Victor Zesiger Senior Manager, Quality & Food Safety

Victor brings 25+ years of experience of working with food companies as a third party, for such leading lab testing companies as Eurofins and Silliker/Merieux. It has given him a unique—and rigorous—food safety perspective on CBD products.

In fact, he notes, robust frameworks already exist for regulating quality and safety in ingested products, via the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) and the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). “We’re already aligning with those standards now,” he says. “We don’t need to wait for the FDA to be ready.”

“Victor is a true microbiological expert, with extensive experience running labs at senior levels,” adds Keith. “He knows which tests and methodologies are needed, and the best ways to implement them.”

“We’re constantly improving our ways of complying with expected regulations, including documentation formats, training templates, and process standards,” says Victor. “We’re aiming for the highest level of quality assurance, because we expect to be both food- and supplement-qualified. We expect—and indeed, we want—the FDA to be tough.

Paige Appleton Quality Assurance Manager
Paige Appleton Quality Assurance Manager

A food scientist who formerly worked with vitamins and confectionery products at consumer goods company Church & Dwight, Paige joined our team to lead us in creating the documentation that defines our processes and standards. It’s complicated and extensive work, she notes, “but it’s an integral part of delivering quality, consistent product to Caliper consumers”.

Paige designed our Supplier Assurance Program, which verifies and documents that all the materials that come into our facilities are responsibly sourced and tested for quality and safety. She also applies a state-of-the-art food safety system that complies with all of the FDA’s food and supplement standards. Under her direction, our facility successfully completed a third-party Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) assessment with an outstanding score of 99, and she’s now working on pursuing GFSI certification.

“Paige’s work is critical to collecting and substantiating the data that builds consumer trust,” says Keith. “You can have the best, strictest quality assurance policies, but if you don’t have the processes in place to verify and document them, it doesn’t matter what your policy is.

Dan Watson Process Chemist
Dan Watson Process Chemist

Perhaps everything you need to know about Dan can be summarized in the tattoo on his left forearm: Schroedinger’s equation, a linear partial differential equation that describes the wave function of a quantum mechanical system. “I’m an analytical chemist, but I also like to look at the physical chemistry side,” he says.

A former technician at a leading cannabinoid testing laboratory, Dan designs, and constantly refines, our cannabinoid potency testing. “Dan is helping us write the book on testing,” says Keith. “He’s been critical in developing our analytical methods and preparing all the quality control parameters for our instruments, so that we can get the most accurate results.

Recently, Dan won our company’s “Triwizard Cup” for streamlining our high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) potency testing methods—trimming the 8-minute process down to just 4 minutes. He also developed a procedure to break a cannabinoid nanoemulsion so that its components could be more accurately measured, and he’s looking forward to more challenges.

“Cannabis science is fledgling,” he admits. “What makes us unique is that we’re a group of scientists, and we use scientific approaches to solve food problems.

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