New capsule design delivers both pre- and probiotics

New capsule design delivers both pre- and probiotics

The world of beneficial bacteria just got a little more interesting with an innovative new launch from Capsugel: a capsule that combines both pre- and probiotics into a single dose.

The inner capsule of the Pre-Pro Combo contains lactobacillus acidophilus, which is then suspended in a liquid-based prebiotic formula containing Fructo Oligosaccharide (FOS). Both capsules are composed of plant-based HPMC (hypromellose), and both are sealed with Capsugel's proprietary LEMS sealing process.

The capsule is entering a receptive marketplace. According to market-research firm Just-Food, the global probiotics market was worth more than $15.7 billion in 2008, making up more than 18 per cent of the global functional-foods market. Since 2003, the global probiotics market has more than doubled in value terms, and is currently rising by nearly 15 per cent per annum.

A February, 2009, poll conducted by Packaged Facts found that 12 per cent of US consumers had purchased food or beverage products within the previous year specifically because of their probiotic and/or prebiotic content.

The Pre-Pro Combo can offer product developers the advantage of excellent stability as well as shelf-stable formulations that do not require refrigeration, Capsugel reports. The capsule is also low in moisture.

"As moisture-sensitive ingredients like probiotics can pull water from the environment or surrounding materials, one key aspect of the Pre-Pro Combo product design is moisture protection,” says Mark Vieceli, marketing and business development manager for Capsugel. “The low-moisture content of HPMC capsules, as well as the use of excipients with low water activity, means that very little moisture is present."

The product is designed to be sold as offered, or it can be customized depending on the brand owner's needs. "We can customize the capsule-in-capsule with different strains and/or other actives such as fish oil, for example," Vieceli says. "Manufacturers and brand owners can also individualize the product by using colored capsules and adding their logo."

Capsugel reports that they have received "quite a bit of interest" in the Pre-Pro Combo, with one brand already launched.

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