Capsugel expands veggie DRcaps line to make capsules suitable for liquid-fill needs

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Vegetarianism

Capsugel expands veggie DRcaps line to make capsules suitable for liquid-fill needs
Global capsule leader Capsugel has extended its line of vegetarian capsule offerings with a technology that makes its DRcaps line suitable for liquid fill applications.

The new offering extends Capsugel’s reach into the fast growing  specialty end of the market. In addition to looking for positive assertions, such as vegetarian, GMO-free or gluten-free messages, increasingly customers are looking at ingredient deck, scanning for ingredients they consider objectionable, said the company.  The list of these seems to grow longer by the week and includes such longtime industry tableting and flow agents such as magnesium stearate. Even though these excipients, or in the case of capsules, the capsules made with eye-catching ingredients themselves, constitute a tiny fraction of the product’s overall weight, the issue continues to gain increasing weight for the consumer.

The new acid-resistant DRcaps can now be used for the growing category of liquid-fill applications that could include popular new delivery modes such as liposomal formulations.  The capsules can add resistance to stomach acid and taste/odor masking to liquid-based dietary supplements.

Capsugel’s DRcaps capsules are made of a vegetarian polymer that slows down capsule opening after swallowing, effectively masks the unpleasant tastes and odors of certain ingredients, and reduces the aftertaste caused by such ingredients as garlic – all without the need for shellac coatings.  The new delivery system uses Capsugel’s propriety banding technology to provide a reliable seal. As a result, the capsules have gained a strong appeal for customers seeking optimal delivery of acid-sensitive ingredients.  

Capsule delivery helps reduce need for objectionable ingredients

“Since their launch in 2011, DRcaps capsules have been a win-win for customers and consumers alike, which is why we are so excited to extend the platform beyond powder-filled capsules to now benefit our customers’ liquid-filled products as well,”​ said Peter Zambetti, Capsugel’s director of global business.

“In markets like the US and Europe we know consumers are looking for more natural choices that eliminate additives from their favorite products, heading towards a clean label approach. Using a capsule instead of a tablet already allows the manufacturer to remove many of the ingredients consumers are trying to stay away from. In the food industry, Kraft just announced they were removing artificial colors from their infamous 'Macaroni & Cheese' due to consumer concerns.

According to a customer survey conducted onsite at Vitafoods Europe 2014, the industry agrees. 85% of customers surveyed declared that product quality and safety was their primary concern. We expect a similar level of concern from our survey conducted this year,”​ Zambetti said.

The acid resistant nature of the capsules will make the new delivery system ideal for a range of acid-sensitive products, the company said. These include including probiotics, enzymes and certain sports nutrition ingredients.

Capsugel has a number of vegetarian delivery form offerings that already carry a number of certifications. Capsugel has four vegetarian capsules in its portfolio: Vcaps, Vcaps Plus, DRcaps, and Plantcaps capsules.  These four products had already been certified vegetarian by the Vegetarian Society in the UK. For the vegan certification, in 2013 Capsugel chose a certification procedure offered by a US-based organization called Vegan Action.

Customers asking for certification

“We had a number of inquiries from customers if we had vegan certification.Our global group did a search of different certifying bodies,” ​Capsugel spokeswoman Missy Lowery told NutraIngredients-USA. “The process of certification (that Vegan Action offered) was very thorough.”

“There are a number of certifications that we have, and our list is probably the most exhaustive in the industry, especially from the capsule perspective,” ​she said.

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