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Regain Control of Your Formulation with Deformulation

It’s not uncommon to build a brand on a product that was developed in partnership with a contract manufacturer. For a number of entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in the early stages of building their brand, the cost savings associated with developing a product in conjunction with a contract manufacturer outweigh the risk of the contract manufacturer holding – and owning – the details of the formulation.

However, if a contract manufacturer owns the formula of a flagship product, risk increases exponentially as a brand becomes more established and client loyalty grows. We’ve received numerous inquiries from companies who have unfortunately found themselves in this position, and the most common issues they’ve experienced include:

  • Cost per unit pricing is continually increasing
  • Unapproved modifications to the product formulation have been made
  • Contract manufacturer won’t release or provide formula details
  • Formulas have been modified over time, and if the original formula was known, now the details of the current/modified formula are undisclosed

How to Take Back Control of Your Product and Product Formula

For many, the first step in taking back control of their product and product formula is deformulating, or chemically reverse engineering, a sample of the product. A thorough deformulation analysis will provide not only the identity, but also the amount of each component present in a product.

Deformulation is a Powerful Tool for QC, Formula Confirmation, and Regulatory Compliance

In addition to being used to obtain the product formulation, deformulation can benefit companies who have partnered with contract manufacturers to develop products in a number of ways, including:

  • Confirming the manufacturer has not modified the original formula without consent or approval
  • Ensuring the formula and product being sold does not contain banned substance or chemicals
  • Determining product formula, as mentioned previously

How Avomeen Can Help

If your contract manufacturer is unwilling to provide you with formula details, Avomeen’s industry-leading deformulation experts can reverse engineer a sample of your product and provide the identity and quantity of the ingredients present in the formula. Additionally, if you’re looking to improve upon an existing formula and aren’t getting the support that you need from your contract manufacturer, our collaborative and knowledgeable formulation scientists can support your needs from product modification all the way to invention and new product development. Do you have a specific project in mind? Connect with our formulation experts.

Additional Resources

If you don’t want to deal with the logistics and maintenance of an in-house lab, consider an FTE partnership. Check out our blog, No In-House Lab? No Problem – Consider an FTE, for more information.

Are you evaluating service providers for product development, improvement, or innovation? Our blog, Choosing the Right Partner to Develop a Product, provides some guidance.

Have you experienced product or process failure? Learn more about what to do when that happens in our blog, What to do When a Product or Process Fails.



Our expert blogger is Evan Boyst, Avomeen’s Senior Technical Director of Innovation and Product Development. He has facilitated the product launch from R&D to production of several products and has experience in developing personal care, industrial, and food and beverage formulations. 

Learn more about Evan’s expertise and experience.