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How we analyze products & brands

Health & Environment

We do our best to analyze products & ingredients based on available data from a variety of sources.  We utilize product & ingredient information from retailers and/or brands sites and analyze it against industry standard data such as ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) and GHS (Globally Harmonized System of classification and labeling) in conjunction with Dr. Michael Burke, an experienced Product and  Environmental Safety Scientist.  

We analyze products based on 17 criteria:

Health Impact

  1. Carcinogens - May lead to cancer with extended exposure
  2. Toxicity - May cause potential harm to organs and bodily systems with extended exposure
  3. Reproductive Systems- May cause potential harm to the reproductive system or impact unborn or nursing children
  4. Skin/Eye Irritation and Corrosion - May irritate the skin or eyes and in extreme cases may cause corrosion

Health Impact:  Allergens and Ingredients Avoidance

  1. Gluten 
  2. Dairy
  3. Eggs
  4. Peanuts
  5. Tree Nuts
  6. Sesame
  7. Soybean
  8. Seafood

Planet Impact

  1. Hazardous to Oceans and Rivers - Potential harm to aquatic life, oceans, rivers, and other waterways
  2. Depletion of Ozone Layer  - Potential harm to the ozone layer
  3. Zero Waste - Reduction of product and packaging waste. Tera has developed an internal methodology which can be read below
  4. Vegan Certification - and/or PETA certified that product contains no animal products or byproducts
  5. Animal Cruelty Free Certification - PETA and/or Leaping Bunny certified that there was not ANY animal testing through any stage of the product development proces


Tera allows you to select which of the aforementioned categories you want to focus on when buying products. We use a color coded system to alert you to  potential risk of a product based on your user-selected preferences.  Click here to see more about how the app works.  


For brand and product certification we utilize the following certifications: 

1- Certified Vegan  - or PETA         

2- Cruelty-free Certified - Leaping Bunny or PETA 

However, we are not perfect.  Product information can sometimes be incomplete or change.   So PLEASE ALWAYS double-check labels, ingredients, and contact the manufacturer for more information if needed. If you believe we have incorrectly listed a certification for a product please let us know so we can correct it for the Tera community.  

Ingredient/Allergens to Avoid

This is one of the most complicated components of the Tera Shopping App.  A single ingredient or common allergen may be listed with 100s of different names, derivatives, and chemical codes.   We do our best to analyze products & ingredients based on available data from a variety of sources..  In total, we have identified over 700 different ingredients for the top 8 allergens.  As always, if you have a food allergy, please double check the ingredients as well as look for cross-contamination as some companies use shared machinery to process their products, or derive common ingredients from allergenic sources. A list of the key ingredients we identify can be found here.  

Zero-Waste Products

Many brands are striving towards making their products more environmentally friendly by using recycled/compostable packaging material, making plastic free products, and offering refillable products and carbon neutral shipping. We analyze brands and their practices to identify whether or not they can be deemed low waste.  Brands listed as zero waste on our platform have one or more of these following traits: 

  1. Offer refillable packaging options
  2. Plastic-free products
  3. Products made from recycled materials or uses recycled/reused packaging or shipping material
  4. 4.Identified Certifications (FSC, Global Recycled Standard, Corrugated Recycles, etc.)
  5. Offer carbon-neutral shipping
  6. Reduce/eliminate secondary packaging 
  7. Have a recycling or take-back program
  8. Run a made-to-order program

    We continue to refine and improve our methodology as we add products, ingredients, and new brands to your marketplace.  Feel free to contact us with any corrections, suggestions or additional feedback.

    To learn more about how the Tera app works, please click here.