Captek Softgel International, a leading manufacturer of more than 2.5 billion softgels annually, reported strong interest in three softgel concepts created specifically for dietary supplement companies at Natural Products Expo West, the largest natural products show in the United States.
The three concepts represented technological advances in dietary supplement delivery systems. “Many consumers find softgels easier to swallow, and more attractive than tablets,” said Tim Chiprich, vice president of product Development. “The three concepts we developed showcase what the next generation of softgels can do.”
One concept featured a vegetarian softgel with CoQ10 suspended in a liquid emulsion. “A growing number of consumers only want vegetarian products,” said Chiprich. “This softgel meets their needs while protecting the CoQ10.”
David Wood, CEO, believes that non-animal softgels are one of the most important market drivers in the natural segment. “There has been a dramatic increase in demand for products with a clean label,” said Wood. “For non-GMO and organic products, our MarineGel non-animal capsule technology offers the cleanest possible label for customers looking to avoid animal-based ingredients and other additives.”
Sales of non-GMO products increased 10 percent to $190 million in 2014, according to Nutrition Business Journal, an industry publication from New Hope Natural Media, the organizer of Natural Products Expo West.
Captek’s MarineGel material is free of food animal derivatives, GMOs, sugar, gluten and preservatives. Softgels made from MarineGel may be certified Halal or Kosher, improve the bioavailability of oil soluble ingredients, exhibit better disintegration than other non-animal materials, and are stable in hot climates with no stickiness or cross-linking disintegration problems.
The second concept was a two-tone prenatal vitamin with DHA and folic acid. “We found a way to reduce the size of the softgel, making it more comfortable to take,” said Chiprich. “The differently colored top and bottom demonstrate what we can do from a manufacturing standpoint.”
The final concept was a probiotic softgel. “Probiotics are sensitive to light, heat, and moisture, and must be handled carefully throughout all phases of production, said Chiprich. “We found a technique to add them into a softgel so that they are protected from degradation.”
The concepts sparked interest among the hundreds of supplement companies that visited Captek International’s booth at Natural Products Expo West. It was the first time Captek discussed the three advanced softgels, and the first time it exhibited at the show. “The response to the concepts was excellent,” said Mariana Villacres, marketing manager. “Softgels as a supplement delivery form are gaining popularity, and our ability to manufacture high-quality, stable, technically advanced softgels positions us perfectly to support the expanding market.”
While not new to the industry, Natural Products Expo West was only the second show for Tim Chiprich in his role as Captek’s vice president of product development. Before joining the company, the industry veteran served as director of product development for Nutrition Express, manager of R&D for Leiner Health, and manager of nutritional products R&D for R.P. Scherer.