May 07, 2023

Delivery formats: Capsules ain’t dead yet

Todd Runestad | May 19, 2023

Capsules have always been a convenient way to hold bioactives and excipients so that consumers can easily swallow the goods.

Related: DRcaps® capsules: Designed to release when you need it – infographic

Yet capsules continue to innovate to meet market demand—and to help brands differentiate in the market.

The first example that springs to mind is vegetarian capsules. Today, they are purchased by consumers far exceeding the number of straight-up vegetarians and vegans. Consumers just like the idea of plant-based capsules versus old-school bovine sources.

Related: Introducing the world's most sustainably sourced and packaged supplement

Newfangled capsules can help preserve nutrients beyond first-pass digestion, which improves functionality. Probiotic bacteria are targeted beneficiaries of such technology because the bacteria is notorious for being compromised by capsules and the digestive process. New capsule tech can improve probiotic survivability to 65 percent—impressive.

Other capsules can help expand the time before releasing nutrients. A supplement like melatonin is a great target for such technology because the melatonin can not just make a person fall asleep faster but with the melatonin on a timed-release situation, the melatonin can slowly release through the night, helping a consumer not just fall asleep but stay asleep through the night.

A great example of a supplement brand utilizing capsule technology to help identify and differentiate its message in the market is First Person, which won the 2023 Nexty award for best supplement of the year at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim.

The brand features mushrooms for various elements of cognition including, some would say, as an adjunct to micro-dosing with psilocbin.

"First Person is a high end nootropic company doing it all in beadlets," said Matt Redd, executive vice president of sales at Viva 5, a capsule innovator. They are taking a traditional capsule product and bring some new life into it and differentiate it in the market and make it stand out not just from an aesthetic standpoint with colors but they also bring new attributes to a product."

Redd said the BB-size beadlets microencapsulate the bioactives in a lipid base, which also improves stability and bioavailability.

To investigate deeper, check out the video, above, between Natural Product Insider's Todd Runestad and Redd, recorded at SupplySide East in Secaucus, NJ, on April 19.

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