05_16 vfi soft gums

Innovation in Delivery Formats for Nutraceuticals

Capsules, pills and tablets are cost-effective and efficient, but when it comes to heat-sensitive ingredients, innovation is required.

Capsules, pills, tablets—these are nothing new to the nutraceutical industry and continue to dominate, mostly because they work! They’re cost-effective and efficient, for the most part, but when it comes to heat-sensitive ingredients, innovation is required.

iNNutiGEL AG has developed a process to manufacture a delivery format for a wide range of nutraceuticals, including heat-sensitive ingredients, called Soft Gums™. The casting mass used the company’s proprietary low temperature mogul (LTM) technology and can be further processed by a conventional mogul plant with a modified depositor.

Diverse components such as syrup, colourants, flavour and nutraceuticals are gently and homogenously mixed in a continuous, lean and automated process. While common processes require high temperatures, LTM technology now allows ambient temperatures to be used which is a great advantage when heat-sensitive nutraceuticals are processed. For instance, Soft Gums with bovine colostrum, a natural source of enzymes, antibodies and growth factors, offer unique benefits for the immune and digestive systems due to their impact on numerous human pathogens. The active components of colostrum lose their structure through heating, in a process known as denaturation. In traditionally manufactured jelly gums, where heating is essential, proteins such as colostrum cannot be applied effectively but in Soft Gums, the colostrum remains in its natural form.

Taking multivitamins and minerals increases nutrient intakes helping people get the recommended daily amounts. Vitamins and minerals from food have unique roles in the human body. Depending on the special needs, diverse categories of supplements are provided. Looking at the market, there are many types of multivitamin and mineral dietary supplements. Most supplements are supplied in capsules and tablets, but swallowing them is challenging for about 40 percent of the population. Gummies are a perfect alternative delivery form - especially for children and elderly people who either have an aversion to swallowing capsules and tablets or struggle to do so. Gummies are easy to chew and are often delicious—vital for encouraging children to take their vitamins!

At the moment, the use of gummies for food supplements is still rare in Europe, but it is rapidly expanding. However, most are based on gelatine, and are thus rejected by vegetarians and vegans. As Soft Gums are based on SuperStarch® and syrup, they are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and moreover, the raw materials and the production process comply with the international halal standards.

Susann Fellendorf, PhD, Project Manager of iNNutriGEL AG, is responsible for designing Soft Gums™. She is a state-certified food chemist and has a doctoral degree in the field of food science from University College Cork, Ireland, focusing on the development of healthier food products.

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