Natural Products Insider

APR 2012

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 60

Innovations in Non-Animal Capsules Technology advances offer greater options for formulators, consumers P by Missy Lowery lant-based capsules have gradually been gaining share in the hard capsule market since the first non-animal hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) capsule was introduced more than a decade ago. Vegetarian capsules were accepted because they satisfied a wide variety of health, dietary and cultural requirements of the booming lifestyle-driven market. In the United States, the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) reported 35 percent of supplement users say a vegetarian or non-animal source is important when choosing a supplement, up from 26 percent in 2006—and this group is among the most frequent users of supplements. In a recent study of supplement users in Europe, conducted by Capsugel, more than 45 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to purchase a supplement if they knew it was in a vegetarian, plant-based capsule. Of the 70 million shoppers currently seeking vegetarian products— a market growing at a rate of 9 percent annually—69 percent agree regular supplement intake offers benefits, according to NMI data. Another reason for the growing market gains is recent innovations have allowed for customization. technological Companies can now satisfy the diverse needs of their businesses and branch out to more niches of the broader consumer market. The unique features of non-animal capsules offer distinct advantages in manufacturing ease, marketing, global certification, dissolution profiles, delivery of specific ingredients and more. Standard HPMC Capsules Although they are appropriate for delivery of all types of products, HPMC capsules are especially good for challenging ingredients and can help protect products that react more easily to moisture in the environment, including hygroscopic fills, dry herbal products and active probiotics. That's because they are very low in moisture— approximately 4 percent to 6 percent at 50 percent relative humidity compared to gelatin at 12 percent to 14 percent. The low-moisture content helps to maintain product stability and prevents cross linking between the capsule and formulas. Enhanced Vegetarian Capsules Enhanced HPMC capsules offer all the benefits of the basic vegetarian capsules, plus a few more. Original vegetarian capsules sport a low-luster sheen for a natural look, while enhanced versions have a high-gloss appearance and an extensive por t folio of colors—advantages in the health and beauty, and sports nutrition marketplaces. Due to a special patented process that eliminates the need for gelling agents or additional excipients, these capsules dissolve quickly like a gelatin—100 percent in 30 minutes or less. This ef ficient dissolution profile is of ten impor tant market in the sports nutrition for timed supplementation. Finally, this capsule is physically durable, and resistant to stringent heat and humidity 52 INSIDER ¥ APRIL 2012 Missy Lowery is the marketing manager at Capsugel ( conditions, helping to maintain product stability wherever they are stored and/or distributed. Slow-Dissolving Vegetarian Capsules Another new formula of HPMC capsules slows down the capsule opening after swallowing to a rate that is less than for conventional capsules. These are not enteric capsules, but the formula protects contents for at least 30 minutes in the stomach's pH of 1.2, fully opening at an intestinal pH of 6.8. Because the protection is in the capsule, it can eliminate the need to apply protective coatings that add time and costs to the manufacturing process, and could damage ingredients due to heat, microbial contamination or other factors. The combination of acid protection and targeted release is designed for products such as probiotic and enzyme strains that might be susceptible to stomach acid. Research also shows the slowed disintegration helps prevent a bad aftertaste for some ingredients such as garlic or valerian root. Very Low Moisture Capsules HPMC is a good candidate for products that requi re except ional ly low moisture for improved stabi l i ty af ter packaging. Because of the very low water content (2 percent to 3 percent range), these capsules can ef fect ively and economically manage the challenges of protecting the integrity of moisture-sensitive products at every stage of their lifecycle, from production through distribution, storage and consumer use. Pullulan Capsules Pullulan is a vegetable-derived, water-soluble polysaccharide produced through a natural fermentation process, making it a more natural capsule. Capsules made of pullulan offer an important option for distribution of organic supplements in the United States, which does not permit organic labeling language on organic ingredients encapsulated in HPMC capsules. Because pullulan offers the best oxygen barrier of all the plant-based products, these capsules can help mask pungent odors from ingredients and enhance the protection of sensitive ingredients. A new pullulan capsule made from naturally fermented tapioca was recently launched in the U.S. market; it has been tested with a variety of hygroscopic fillings and has demonstrated robust production performance and stability. The demand for plant-based capsules will grow as customers look for performance, quality and lifestyle fit. The new portfolios of plant-based capsules now provide technological advantages that can help provide better results for the ingredients inside. CAPSULES

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Natural Products Insider - APR 2012