Cool capsules! Lonza’s new Capsugel Wave technology makes a splash at Natural Products Expo West


Lonza’s new Capsugel Wave technology enables companies to encapsulate, simultaneously, oil- and water-based ingredients in one capsule, while achieving a unique, gradated visual effect.

Photo © Tepsuttinun

Photo © Tepsuttinun

Capsules have never looked better. During our meetings at March’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA, companies showed us their latest nutraceutical capsules with high visual appeal. At the Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients (Greenwood, SC) booth, the company debuted its Capsugel Wave technology that enables water- and oil-based ingredients to be simultaneously combined in the same capsule.

Mixing the water- and oil-based liquids in one capsule also creates a unique, gradated visual effect. For instance, if the oil-based and water-based liquids are tinted, their colors remain mostly separated in the capsule—since one liquid is in water phase and one is in oil phase—but, at the point where they meet, the liquids’ colors mingle to produce a “blurred” color effect. The liquid color can either come inherently from the ingredients themselves—ingredients like lutein or astaxanthin have a natural hue, for instance—or color can be added using Lonza’s array of natural food-sourced colors.

Functionally, the capsule is for companies “who are just looking for that one-dose release profile,” said Marketing Manager Juliana Erickson at Expo West. Customers seeking multiple-release profiles can opt for the other numerous capsule-design options in Capsugel’s line, such as beadlet or capsule-in-a-capsule technologies.

The new Wave technology lends itself to a variety of marketing concepts, said Zain Saiyed, PhD, FACN, the company’s head of global product development and innovation, at Expo West. For instance, an immunity product could combine vitamin C and oil-soluble vitamin D. Or a sleep product could combine lavender oil and water-soluble melatonin. For brain health, the capsule could marry an algal DHA ingredient and a water-soluble ingredient like choline.

There are additional practical benefits as well. Erickson said Capsugel Wave helps formulators “increase the load, so you’re able to decrease the amount of excipients that you use. So that creates a cleaner label formula with fewer additives.”

The capsules’ visual appeal will also motivate consumers to stick with their supplement regimen. “We’ve had a lot of good feedback on this,” Erickson said. “People just love the look. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and it really fits in with what consumers are looking for nowadays, which is building that routine, whether it’s your sleep routine or your beauty routine…The more experiential it can be, the more they’ll want to put it into their routine.”

With consumer experience in mind, Lonza continues rolling out its new flavor and aroma capsule coatings, which the company first debuted at last November’s SupplySide West trade show.

Imbuing an already visually appealing capsule with complementary flavors and aromas adds to the consumer’s experience. For instance, said Erickson, imagine the aforementioned sleep-product capsule combining melatonin and lavender oil. What if you added lavender aroma to the capsule? “So you open up the bottle and you smell the lavender, and then you take the capsule, which has other ingredients in it to help with sleep,” Erickson said. “It’s a whole experience that you can easily remember to do—and want to do and look forward to doing. That really increases compliance on the consumer’s side.”

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