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The newly certified capsules are Vcaps, Vcaps Plus, Plantcaps, and DRcaps.
Vegan certification program Vegan Action has verified four of the capsules in Capsugel’s (Greenwood, SC) vegetarian capsules line as vegan. “Vegan” means the products contain and were processed and tested using no animal ingredients or animal by-products, including honey and sugar refined with bone char, Capsugel explains.
Capsugel’s vegan-certified capsules now include the following: Vcaps, which Capsugel describes as “the world’s bestselling HPMC capsule…great for moisture-sensitive ingredients like hygroscopic fills and dry herbal products;” Vcaps Plus, same as Vcaps and also provides a high-gloss appearance and quick dissolution in 30 minutes or less; Plantcaps tapioca-derived pullulan capsules, which the firm says offer the best oxygen barrier of all plant-based products, especially suited for masking pungent odors and protecting sensitive ingredients; and slow-dissolving DRcaps, which protect ingredients for at least 30 minutes in the stomach’s pH of 1.2, fully opening at an intestinal pH of 6.8, without requiring costly enteric coatings-especially ideal for probiotics and enzymes.
The new vegan certification “is an expansion of the appeal of our plant-based capsules into a very targeted niche in the booming lifestyle-driven market with its wide variety of health, dietary, and cultural requirements,” said Pete Zambetti, Capsugel’s global director of business development, health and nutrition, in a press release.
Capsugel says that the plant-based capsules are already free of additives, preservatives, allergens, starch, and gluten, and are non-GMO and kosher and halal certified and approved by the Vegetarian Society.
“The demand for vegan certification is growing,” Zambetti added. He said that Capsugel can also help its manufacturer customers apply for vegan certification for their own finished products.
In its press release, Capsugel also quoted these statistics:
In the United States, 35% of supplement users say that a vegetarian or non-animal source is important when choosing a supplement, up from 26% in 2006; this market segment is among the most frequent users of supplements.1 In a recent study of supplement users in Europe, more than 45% said they would be more likely to purchase a supplement if they knew it was in a vegetarian, plant-based capsule.2 Of the 70 million shoppers currently seeking vegetarian products-a market growing at a rate of 9% annually-69% agree that regular supplement intake offers benefits.3