Delivery System Innovations Take Center Stage at SupplySide West


Suppliers continue to hone delivery systems to meet consumer demand for better performance and ease of use. Here are just a few examples of new applications we saw at SupplySide West.

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Suppliers continue to hone delivery systems to meet consumer demand for better performance, ease of use, and enhanced flavor. Here are just a few examples of new applications seen at SupplySide West.


Magnesium Powder for Sports Nutrition

Albion Human Nutrition (Clearfield, UT) debuted sports-nutrition powders of its existing magnesium ingredients: 1) for energy, a magnesium lysinate glycinate (MLG) powdered drink, and 2) for sports recovery, a magnesium glycinate glutamine (MGG) powdered drink.

Magnesium’s profile in the sports nutrition market is growing because it is intrinsically involved in ATP formation and, thus, sports performance. The lysine bound to magnesium in MLG has been shown to help increase muscle synthesis as well as collagen synthesis, said Albion consultant Max Motyka, while the glutamine in MGG helps promote the formation of glycogens and muscle tissue and fight muscle breakdown.


Gummies, Chews, and Emulsions

“We see an explosion in product development and alternative product forms, whether it’s chews, mix-in beverages, powder applications, or gummies,” said Robert Bailey, global commercial development manager at Stepan Lipid Nutrition (Northfield, IL). At the show, the company sampled a heart-health chew containing its Marinol Omega-3 HS Powder based on the company’s flagship Marinol omega-3 premetabolized triglyceride ingredient. “Our HS powder is basically the concentrated version of an 1812 oil,” Bailey said. “The oil load is 60%, and the DHA/EPA content is 20%.”

BASF’s (Florham Park, NJ) Newtrition division sampled several new concepts showcasing its flagship ingredients.  

One of them was a Heart Smart gummy containing phytosterols and omega-3. “We’re combining the plant sterols, which have the strongest FDA claim that you can make for lowering your cholesterol, together with omega-3, and we actually use a Dry N-3 powdered omega-3 that you can then use to make a gummy,” said marketing manager Eva Johnson. “We offer omega-3 in different formats so that our customers can formulate the product for the consumers that they’re trying to market to.”

A chew product, called Go For It, contained Tonalin-brand conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) for maintaining lean muscle mass and reducing body fat. The chew format is easier for athletes to consume as they exercise because it is less chewy than a gummy. “It has a nice bite to it because it’s made with pectin instead of gelatin, so if you’re riding a bicycle or running long distances, you can pop them and chew them easily,” said Johnson. Also, she added, the chew has a higher melting point to keep the product intact even if athletes carry the chew on their body during a workout.

The company also showcased a Tonalin-containing Muscle Performance shake and a Tonalin On the Go iced coffee. Of the iced coffee drink, Johnson said, “The breakfast occasion has really changed. A lot of people aren’t sitting down to eat their cornflakes anymore and they like options for on the go, so this is a meal-replacement beverage.” In addition to natural caffeine and Tonalin, it contained protein for satiety.

And, finally, for the multivitamin, BASF sampled a lemon-mango emulsion. “What’s challenging is how to make the main vitamin that most people take, the quarterback, the multivitamin, easier to take, especially for those who have trouble swallowing, which is maybe 30% of the population. And we found that besides those people who have difficulty swallowing, something like this might also be appealing for the millennials for whom it’s been shown or researched that they prefer other, alternative delivery formats over pills.”

Of the emulsion form, she said, “You can add water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins to it. The technology allows for that. And our customers can then take this as a foundation and they can personalize it with other ingredient.”

Also in the gummy space, krill oil supplier Aker BioMarine Antarctic (Oslo, Norway) announced that it is now commercially selling its Superba krill oil in a form appropriate for gummies. So far, several European customers have gone to market with it, and a U.S. launch is imminent, said Becky Wright, marketing director for Aker BioMarine Antarctic US.

“We work with a Swiss company that uses a specific oil semisolid application (SSA) material that takes out some of the negative aspects of krill”-odor, for instance, she said, and turns it into a “more purified form.” Customers can either work with the Swiss manufacturer who works with Aker’s SSA oil, or Aker can provide the straight SSA oil directly to manufacturers to work with on their own. A serving of two gummy bears containing Aker’s Superba krill oil is equivalent to a 300-mg Superba krill softgel, the company said. It is also now offering krill emulsions.

Finally, mineral salts specialist Jungbunzlauer (Basel, Switzerland) sampled calcium citrate gummies at its booth featuring the company’s fully reacted and non-GMO micronized tricalcium citrate. The gummies contained 50% of the RDA of calcium, the firm said.

When asked about the challenges of formulating calcium in a gummy, Rocio Aramburo, market development manager for human nutrition, said, “When you’re formulating calcium, it’s very difficult to get a high amount of calcium in a gummy and then also get a good texture. So what we did is we used our micronized version of calcium citrate, which actually avoids the grittiness and the sandiness of the calcium in the gummy, which was the problem-sometimes a consumer would actually taste the particles of calcium. So, with this, we added this micronized version, and then it’s a more bioavailable form of calcium as well.”

“Gummy sales have been very strong in growth,” BASF’s Johnson pointed out. “Sales have doubled through the natural channel over the recent years, and we think that they’re still growing very strongly. And part of that is that it has a pleasing sensory feel and also it’s much more enjoyable to take a gummy than a capsule or tablet. At the same time, for people who have troubling swallowing pills and who have trouble complying with their daily regimen of supplements, this offers a great alternative.”



Suppliers also unveiled new excipient offerings. Jungbunzlauer highlighted its recently launched tricalcium citrate tetrahydrate, TCC TB, ideally designed for direct compression.

“Direct compression is considered to be the most economic process in tablet manufacturing in terms of labor, time, equipment, operational energy, and space. This production method eliminates problems due to heat and moisture that occur during wet granulation, but it also demands exceptional properties of active ingredients and excipients,” the company said in a press release. “TCC TB is a highly pure granular powder with a special crystalline structure that allows the production of tablets of high tensile strength already at low compression forces. Tablets produced with TCC TB have a low relative density, which facilitates the rapid disintegration even of very hard tablets.”

Aramburo added that TCC TB is more compressible than other common excipients such as tribasic calcium phosphate or a spray-dried lactose. “It is a little bit less compressible than microcrystalline cellulose but still shows very good compressibility data. It’s made from non-GMO corn, and calcium citrate looks better on the label instead of microcrystal cellulose” or other materials.


Quick Dissolve, Smaller Pills, and Sustained Release

Easier-to-take delivery innovations also took the form of quick dissolve and smaller tablets.

BASF’s Ludiflash direct-compressible orally disintegrating tablet excipient aided in a “Fast Melt” quick-dissolving sample the company debuted at SupplySide. Containing vitamins D3 and K1, the tablet quickly dissolves on the tongue within 30 seconds, with no unwanted tastes, the company said. “It has our vitamins from our Human Nutrition side, and then an excipient from our pharma expertise side. We’re trying to leverage all that knowledge across BASF,” Johnson said.

BASF also showcased smaller-sized omega-3 softgels thanks to the company’s new Pronova Pure 46:38 ultra-high-concentrate ingredient. (Read about more omega-3 ultra-high concentrates launched at SupplySide West.)

Novel Ingredients (East Hanover, NJ) debuted its Shrinking Tablet technology that companies can use to make tablets up to 40% smaller. The company has filed a patent on the technology. “It’s a proprietary processing and binder system that allows us to create smaller, more-consumer-friendly tablets,” said Jeff Avila, vice president of marketing. A typical 1450-mg calcium supplement, for instance, can be reduced to a 1037-mg tablet while retaining the same 1000-mg calcium dose, he added. The technology can also be used for caplets and capsules.

“We actually went out and through a third party did a survey of supplement consumers. We hear the issue, but we wanted to actually validate it and say, ‘Does this matter to you?’” Avila said about consumers’ preference for smaller-sized pills. “We found that over 60% of supplement consumers would prefer a product that gave them the same nutrition but in a smaller size. So we think that’s great for brands that can maybe buy in on this technology. There’s a conversion potential. Maybe you’ve got a product that you have to take two a day; maybe we can get it down to one a day. All that matters to the consumer.”

And Natural Alternatives International (San Marcos, CA) previewed a new sustained-release powder version of its sports nutrition CarnoSyn beta-alanine ingredient. According to the company, it “delivers higher levels of beta-alanine more comfortably in a single dose.”

“SR CarnoSyn results in a sustained beta-alanine release that stays in the body longer for carnosine synthesis,” the company said in a press release. “The net effect is higher muscle retention of carnosine. SR CarnoSyn delivers much higher dosage levels than instant-release CarnoSyn before reaching the typical paresthesia-sensation threshold.”


Probiotic Encapsulation

Finally, Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. (Kearny, NJ) touted its Microbac probiotic encapsulation technology in partnership with Probiotical (Novara, Italy) at a Vendor Brief seminar. Microencapsulation not only protects probiotics through the GI tract, it also enables usage in other delivery forms such as powder blends, beverages, sprinkles, chocolates, and chewable tablets. “Microbac has opened up new doors in terms of delivery systems,” the company said.


Also read:

Fastest-Dissolving Protein Powder on the Market Disperses in Just 9 Seconds, at SupplySide West

Softgel Benefits for Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplement Capsules Challenges and Trends



Jennifer Grebow
Nutritional Outlook magazine

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