Natural Products Insider

JUL-AUG 2018

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.

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38 INSIDER July/August 2018 During product design, brand marketers determine a delivery format, each of which has its place in the dietary supplement arena. Two-piece hard-shell capsules, tablets, softgels and powders use unique manufacturing processes, and offer advantages and disadvantages in form and function. Several factors should be considered to ensure nutritional ingredients are delivered effi caciously, and the product is convenient and user-friendly. The two-piece hard-shell capsule is not only the most common delivery form, but it is also one of the oldest. The outer shells of the capsule are typically made from animal-derived gelatin or plant-based cellulose or pullulan. They come in different sizes and colors to suit most applications. Ingredients are basically blended together and fi lled into capsules. The maximum fi ll of each capsule is dependent on the density of the ingredient blend. Capsules have a typical disintegration time of 10 to 15 minutes and have the advantage of requiring few excipients in their manufacture. Traditional excipients used are magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose and/or rice fl our. However, recent clean label trends have required manufacturers to limit (if not avoid) use of excipients, or to fi nd suitable alternatives such as organic rice extract, l-leucine or ascorbyl palmitate. Capsule products can offer a sense of transparency, given the consumer can see the actual ingredient(s) inside the capsule or can open the capsule to see, feel and taste the powder inside. The tablet is the next most-used delivery form for dietary supplements. Tablets come in a plethora of sizes, shapes and colors. Depending on the application, a tablet can be coated, uncoated or chewable. A typical tablet has an expected disintegration time of 30 minutes. This time can be extended with the use of an enteric coating. A tablet allows the manufacturer to add a greater amount of ingredients per given piece. For example, a capsule's gross fi ll is between 750 to 1,000 mg (heavily dependent on blend density and capsule size), whereas a tablet can be compressed to accommodate up to 2,500 mg of material. Compared to a capsule, a tablet allows a smaller serving size for a given formula. Tablets also allow developers to customize the time-release profi le. With the use of enteric coating and binders, a tablet can have a delayed release to bypass the stomach and be released inside the small intestine. A custom sustained-release profi le can also be engineered to allow a slow, steady release of nutrients over a set number of hours. Delayed-release capsules are available as well, but they don't allow time-release customization. Tablets require more binders, excipients and processing steps for manufacture, which is a potential drawback of the delivery form. Larger tablets can be hard for some people to swallow, as well. Softgels offer an effective delivery form for liquid or oil-based formulas. Many ingredients are found in nature as a liquid or oil, and are best delivered in their native form. Although vegetarian softgels are now available, gelatin softgels are the most common in the marketplace. They are available in different sizes and colors. Since the contents are typically suspended in oils, softgels are an ideal delivery form for lipid- and fat-soluble nutrients such as effi cacious oils, fatty acids, fat-soluble extracts or fat-soluble lettered vitamins. Some drawbacks of softgels include large minimum order requirements and the potential to be more expensive than other dosage forms. The last of the solid dosage delivery forms are powders, whether a single ingredient or a mixture, unfl avored, or fl avored with sweeteners. Excipients and binders found in tablets and capsules are not needed in powder mixes. Manufacture basically consists of blending ingredients together until uniformity is achieved. Powder formulations allow for the product to be mixed into a liquid and consumed as a drink. As such, ingredients are rapidly released and absorbed by the body. Powder delivery forms are best-suited for formulas that require a large serving size for effi cacy, such as meal replacements, protein, pre-workout, post-workout and mineral supplements. The quick-release action is also a benefi t for pre-workout, post-workout and electrolyte replacement formulas. Powders can come in a variety of fl avors and tastes, but ingredients bitter in taste may be diffi cult to fl avor in a powder. There may be an inconvenience factor since powders need to be mixed into a liquid before consumption. Choosing among capsules, tablets, softgels or powders for a formulation can be diffi cult. It is imperative to make the choice based on ingredient composition, serving size requirements, release time requirements and target customer preference. Shabbir Akand is the vice president of sales and marketing at NHK Laboratories Inc. (, a contract manufacturer of dietary supplements. Established in 1987, NHK operates two state-of-the-art facilities that meet or exceed FDA cGMPs that are NPA/UL GMP certifi ed, NSF GMP registered, NSF ISO 9001 registered, CCOF Organic certifi ed, and IFANCA Halal certifi ed. Weighing the Pros & Cons of Supplement Delivery Forms by Shabbir Akand Contract Manufacturing: Delivery Forms Recent clean label trends have required manufacturers to limit (if not avoid) use of excipients, or to find suitable alternatives such as organic rice extract, l-leucine or ascorbyl palmitate.

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