Our company, UD Sumatra Pasak Bumi in Medan, Indonesia, developed the tongkat ali 1:50 and 1:200 extract. After they gained popularity, a great number of fakes appeared on the market. There are two classes of fakes:
1. outright fakes that are no tongkat ali at all, but any other plant material, often mixed with bootleg sildenafil analogues, usually originating in China
2. deceptive fakes that are tongkat ali root powder, usually labeled as 1:200 because previously, we sold the refined, milder 1:200 extract at a higher price than the stronger 1:50 extract (we have now adjusted the prices, so they are the same).
Either kind of scam works by blinding potential buyers with prices for 1:200 tongkat ali extract that seem lower than those of Sumatra Pasak Bumi’s. But in reality, root powder sold at 30 US dollars is much more expensive than an extract sold at 300 US dollars.
Fakers of either category go to great lengths in their efforts to gain some legitimacy for their wares.
One common scam is to submit samples of cooked root powder to laboratories for having it tested for salmonella or E. coli. However, when the sample is submitted to the laboratory, it is designated as 1:200.
Anyway, the laboratory is paid to perform cheap tests for salmonella and E. coli. They will just do that. And if the sample is submitted with a designation “1:200 tongkat ali extract”, the laboratory will return a lab report that says: 1:200 tongkat ali extract, free of salmonella and E. coli
The lab will not examine whether the sample submitted for testing is indeed 1:200 extract, or just root powder. In fact, the lab will not even test whether the submitted sample is tongkat ali at all. Such tests would require different, and much more expensive equipment and test kits.
Tests for salmonella and E. coli are performed in microbiology faculties. Tests for the chemical composition of samples are a task handled in analytical chemistry labs. And fakes are most reliably uncovered in forensic labs.
At the end of the day, all of the certificates presented by fakers mean nothing. The only assurance you can rely on is a confirmation from the source of the original product that what a reseller distributes is indeed genuine tongkat ali extract.