Capsugel Combines Lipid Bioavailability and Modified Release in One Technology

October 23, 2014

Capsugel is now offering this proprietary technology-until now used by the pharmaceutical industry-to nutrition firms.

Photo by Capsugel: Capsugel's lipid multi-particulate (LMP) technology enables encapsulation of solubilized lipid excipients in small spheres/particulates within a capsule, which can be designed for immediate, delayed, or sustained release.

 

Capsugel (Morristown, NJ) offers a proprietary, innovative way to combine enhanced bioavailability of fat-soluble ingredients with modified-release delivery. With lipid multi-particulate (LMP) technology, fat-soluble ingredients are first solubilized in a lipid excipient to make them more bioavailable. The company can then encapsulate the lipid material in small spheres/particulates within a capsule, which can be designed for immediate, delayed, or sustained release. Until now, this proprietary LMP technology was used by the pharmaceutical industry. Capsugel is now offering it to the health and nutrition industry.

This technology has roots in Capsugel’s well-known liquid-fill Licaps capsule technology. Fat-soluble ingredients such as carotenoids, curcumin, and CoQ10 are only absorbed in the presence of fat. With Licaps, poorly soluble ingredients are first solubilized in a lipid excipient to improve their bioavailability to the body. The formula is then filled in a capsule.

With LMP technology, after ingredients are solubilized, Capsugel sends the solution through a proprietary melt-spray-and-congeal (MSC) process, which encapsulates the solution in small particles. “The result is multiple spherical lipid particles that are very small, ranging from 200 to 500 microns in diameter,” explains Peter Zambetti, Capsugel’s director of global business development. These lipid particles are free-flowing, and thousands can be easily filled in capsules, he says.

The capsules can also be designed for a desired release profile. “To achieve extended-release dissolution profiles, ingredients are suspended in a mixture of hard fat and natural-release modifiers,” Zambetti says.

The result is that ingredients (also thanks to the particles’ small size) are distributed well through the gut and better absorbed. Stability and bioavailability of key ingredients are also enhanced because of the lipid carrier. And, the company says, LMP technology offers the further benefit of taste-masking. “Taste-masking is achieved because a bitter ingredient is fully encapsulated within a lipid matrix and furthered by delivery in a capsule,” Zambetti says.

Capsugel says it has developed single-ingredient formulas using this technology for ingredients like astaxanthin, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, CoQ10, curcumin, DHA, melatonin, and quercetin.

Now that it is making LMP technology available on a broad commercial scale, the company recently installed a commercial-scale facility with the capacity to provide LMP technology at its Greenwood, SC, site.

 

Jennifer Grebow
Editor-in-Chief
Nutritional Outlook magazine jennifer.grebow@ubm.com