Noviant launches GM-free disintegrant for tablets

Related tags Pharmacology

Dutch specialty chemicals group Noviant has developed a certified
GM-free disintegrant for use in tablets, allowing supplement makers
to continue supplying a full range of products without having to
add labels required under new European laws.

The new product, Nymcel ZSX-W, offers the same performance properties as the firm's Nymcel ZSX brand croscarmellose sodium.

Croscarmellose sodium is a popular disintegrant in many food applications, such as the sugar replacer Canderel, as well as pharmaceutical products, like a number of the cholesterol-lowering drugs on the market. Disintegrants are used in most tablets as well as some capsules to ensure that they are broken down rapidly by the consumer and the active ingredients are properly released.

However the current EU regulations (1829/2003 and 1830/2003), which came into force in April 2004, require users of croscarmellose sodium, which is made from the cellulose of plants, to guarantee that the raw material has not been made from genetically modified organisms - if so, the ingredient must be labelled accordingly.

Most food makers have so far avoided placing products on the market with GM labelling and supplement makers are under the same pressure.

However the far-reaching impact of these regulations for food and supplement makers has not been fully realized.

Noviant claims it is the first of the five or six main croscarmellose sodium manufacturers to be able to guarantee a GM-free product.

"The product will initially be a premium one,"​ Paul Houtman, Noviant​ sales manager, told "The difficulty is that non-GM cellulose sources are of lower quality in terms of molecular weight and so producing a GM-free ingredient has required us to invest heavily in production."

Johann van de Koppel, technical applications manager, added that the innovation may also be of interest to pharmaceutical companies. "Many are producing nutraceuticals in the same facilities as pharma products. When they use both non-GM and GM ingredients they have to put a lot of quality control measures in place to ensure there is no cross-contamination. Using one, GM-free ingredient, would rule out this problem."

Noviant, said to be the world's leading supplier of cellulose gum, produces the Nymcel range in a state-of-the-art facility in the Netherlands. The group is owned by the US-based J.M. Huber Corporation.

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