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Degussa Innovates Phosphatidylserine for Soft Gel Stability with Leci-PS® 20V

CHAMPAIGN, IL—Degussa Food Ingredients has launched Leci-PS®20V phosphatidylserine (PS), a patent-pending formulation that provides superior stability for soft gel encapsulation. The new product resolves two issues which typically lead to the degradation of PS in soft gels, resulting in a loss of stability. Leci-PS 20V is an innovation not only for Degussa, but offers a significant improvement to the entire PS fluid market; predecessors must now be considered virtually obsolete.

“Recent studies conducted by our R&D department in Freising, Germany, have uncovered two frequently occurring interactions between the soft gel capsule and its PS fill,” says Dr. Karl-Heinz Zirzow, Business Manager Dietary Supplements of the Business Unit Food Ingredients. “Utilizing this knowledge, we have developed an unique and improved PS formula exclusively for soft gel applications.”

The researchers revealed that in typical soft gel encapsulation, even the highest-quality PS is subject to an increase in moisture content due to moisture migration from the wet capsule shell into its fill. This activity adversely affects PS stability, since PS is prone to hydrolysis (a degradation reaction) caused by moisture inherent in the soft gel manufacturing process. The new Leci-PS 20V, a pasty semi-solid product that melts at just above room temperature, was formulated to overcome this issue.

In further laboratory investigations, the R&D team detected the presence of phosphatidylglycerol (PG) in some commercially available PS soft gelatin capsules, which is formed by a reaction of PS with glycerol, the plasticizing agent in gelatin used for the soft gel robe. The team showed that, in PG positive samples, PS losses were caused by residual amounts of the enzyme phospholipase D (PLD), which is used during PS manufacture. As an interfacial enzyme, PLD is activated along the soft gel robe/fill interface, where PLD converts PS into PG, thereby compromising the ability to keep PS stable in the soft gel product.
“Many years of research and development in PS have allowed us to achieve a product free of PLD activity – guaranteed. This advantage made it possible for us to create the soft gel stable Leci-PS 20V,” says Dr. Zirzow. “We believe it represents an evolutionary step for PS in soft gel form.”

Degussa has filed a patent for the new product. Additionally, in the United States, Degussa is the exclusive licensee of Yakult’s use patent
no. 5,900,409, which describes the cerebration improving effects of PS in humans.

For more information on Leci-PS 20V, its properties in soft gel capsules, and technical/formulation assistance, please contact Customer Service Business Line BioActives at (800) 798-7226.

Degussa Food Ingredients with its business lines BioActives, Texturant Systems and Flavors & Fruit Systems is a Business Unit of Degussa, a multinational corporation consistently aligned to highly profitable specialty chemistry. With sales of €11.8 billion and a workforce of some 48,000, it is Germany's third-largest chemical company and the world market leader in specialty chemicals. In fiscal 2002, the corporation generated operating profits (EBIT) of more than €900 million. Degussa's core strength lies in highly-effective system solutions that are tailored to the requirements of its customers in over 100 countries throughout the world. Degussa‘s activities are led by the vision "Everybody benefits from a Degussa product – every day and everywhere".

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