The In-Stock Color Program, an online tool, records the firm's stock availability for its range of colored capsules. According to Capsugel, the "easy-to-navigate" online catalog allows customers to view colors and sizes of capsules that are in-stock and available for immediate shipment within the Americas region. The firm said that customers using the program can expect their orders to be shipped within one business day. "In addition to fast shipments, customers can order as little as one carton, which is especially valuable for short runs, last minute orders and inventory control," it said. Product lines Capsugel's product lines include Licaps liquid capsules, Oceancaps fish gelatin capsules, and Vcaps, together with the recently launched Vcaps Plus vegetarian version. Within these lines, the capsule products are available in a range of colors and sizes, designed to meet specific customer demand. Vcaps Plus Capsugel recently launched its Vcaps Plus product, a clear version of its Vcaps vegetarian capsule, which the firm said is specifically suited to carry a wide range of colors - a significant advantage over the original Vcaps product. The company, which introduced its Vcaps Plus at the Supply Expo West in Anaheim, California, in March, said that like the original Vcaps, Vcaps Plus is made from HPMC (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose). This is a plant-origin polymer, which is commonly used in the manufacture of vegetarian capsules. Capsugel told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the major selling point for the updated version is that it is a glossier, smoother capsule than the original Vcaps, which the company claims is currently the best-selling HPMC capsule globally. In addition, the manufacturing process for Vcaps Plus makes it "extremely easy" to add colors to the capsule, thereby extending the more limited color range suitable for use with the original Vcaps. Other benefits include its low moisture content (5-6 per cent at 50 percent RH), which means that it is particularly suitable for use with herbals or other moisture-sensitive content, and which also allows the product to hold up well in manufacturing and storage, said the firm. Supplement market At the recent Supply Side East trade show in Secaucus, New Jersey, Capsugel's global business development manager for dietary supplements Peter Zambetti presented industry members with a round-up of the global nutraceuticals market. He told attendees that - surprisingly - Asia Pacific is the largest global market for nutraceutical products, by far exceeding that of North America and Europe. The region accounted for 44 percent of global nutraceutical sales in 2006, compared to 32 percent for North America and 14 percent for Western Europe. Latin America and Eastern Europe lagged behind at around 3 percent each, while the African, Middle Eastern and Australasian markets jointly accounted for 3 percent of global sales, he said.