Both Empty Pullulan Capsules and Empty HPMC Capsules are available at Huili Capsules, with customized colors and printings.
After years of mass production, quality of vegetarian capsules now is nearly same as regular Empty Gelatin Capsules.
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Fast delivery and good service are offered as well.
New Pullulan-based capsules offer unique benefits for supplement manufacturers and healthy lifestyle market worldwide.
By Missy Lowery, Marketing Manager, Americas, Capsugel.
It’s no secret that today, the market of health-conscious consumers seeking natural, “green” products is booming. When choosing nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals, this growing segment of very astute and discerning healthy lifestyle consumers look for non-animal products with no artificial chemicals, pesticides or preservatives. Both health-focused consumers and healthcare practitioners alike are demanding high-quality supplements that are well documented for health benefits and safety. To meet this rising demand, Capsugel recently introduced Plantcaps™ capsules, plant-based hard capsule shells made from pullulan, a vegetable-derived, water-soluble polysaccharide. The new capsules are a more natural alternative. Plantcaps are starch-free vegetarian capsules made from tapioca, which is naturally fermented into pullulan. As a result, these capsules offer a more extensive appeal to healthy lifestyle consumers of nutritional supplements. They also have unique features that benefit supplement manufacturers, marketers and distributors.
Globally, more than 50 percent of consumers are willing to pay a premium price for a natural product and nearly half say they are willing to pay more for organic products.
1. In the United States, 35 percent of supplement users say that a vegetarian or non-animal source is important when choosing a supplement, up from 26 percent in 2006 – and this group is among the most frequent users of supplements.
2. In a recent study of supplement users in Europe, more than 45 percent said they would be more likely to purchase a supplement if they knew it was in a vegetarian, plant-based capsule.
3.Today’s healthy lifestyle consumers are discerning. Not content to take labels at face value, they investigate everything they put into their bodies, especially their supplements. And they want to be sure each ingredient is safe and proven because they are conscientious about maintaining their health. Their commitment to a green lifestyle extends beyond diet and nutrition and permeates every aspect of their lives. These consumers look for products with attributes that fit their lifestyle, but they do not want to sacrifice quality or performance.
Key Benefits of Plantcaps™
Plantcaps™ capsules are a clean-label product that provides all the benefits of gelatin capsules while meeting the dietary needs of vegetarian and vegetarian-aware supplement users. The pullulan-based capsules deliver the product claims healthy lifestyles customers look for when making purchase decisions, such as starch-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, vegetal origin and non-GMO (genetically modified organism). They also meet the dietary needs and cultural requirements of certain consumer segments, with Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status, Halal and kosher certificates, and approval by the Vegetarian Society. Additionally, the Plantcaps capsules are suitable for the Asian regulatory environment, especially for use in Japan.
Plantcaps capsules provide an important option for companies that distribute supplements made with organic ingredients in the United States, which restricts organic labeling language on organic ingredients encapsulated in various polymers. The capsules are the only vegetarian polymer eligible for “made with organic ingredients” label language in the U.S. Another advantage of Plantcaps capsules is their elegant crystal-clear transparency, further evoking a natural image. They also have a high luster, similar to that of gelatin capsules, and maintain the attractive appearance of the capsule fill materials. The appearance of Plantcaps capsules extends their appeal to the healthy lifestyle market. To increase marketing appeal, the capsules offer multiple branding options in customized color and shine.
Providing a balance of performance and purity, Plantcaps capsules offer robust performance with a wide range of ingredients. The capsules also offer ease of formulation. An important advantage of their pullulan base is that this vegetable-derived polysaccharide is a very stable and well characterized raw material, matching the performance characteristics of gelatin.
In vitro disintegration.
Pullulan-based capsules have disintegration times and dissolution profiles essentially equivalent to that of gelatin. Their prompt in vitro disintegration is an important feature for immediate-release or fast-acting applications. The capsules disintegrate in less than 15 minutes in water at 37˚ C.
Plantcaps capsules have very low oxygen permeability compared to other capsule shell materials. Recommended for encapsulating oxidation-sensitive ingredients, the capsules provide enhanced protection of the contents from oxidation and there is less need for anti-oxidants. They are also highly stable, with low cross-linkage potential. Their excellent oxygen barrier properties help ensure that the shelf life of products is optimized. Because pullulan is the best oxygen barrier compared with gelatin and other capsule bases, Plantcaps capsules can help mask pungent tastes and odors from some ingredients such as garlic.
Like gelatin capsules, they offer excellent machinability on all capsule-filling machines. The capsules are manufactured by a process similar to the one used for hard gelatin capsules under equivalent carefully controlled cGMP conditions, with a certified quality assurance system for traceability of raw materials. They are also compatible with a wide range of excipients.
The moisture impact of Plantcaps capsules is similar to that of gelatin.
Plantcaps capsules’ non-reactive shell can help eliminate “spotting” concerns, called the Maillard Reaction, which occur when vitamin C is encapsulated in gelatin.
Plantcaps capsules provide easy swallowability with fast esophageal transit time, comparable to gelatin capsules. Ease of swallowing is an advantage for many consumers, particularly seniors, children and others who may have difficulty swallowing
Pullulan is a water-soluble polysaccharide produced from starch by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. It is commercially produced by a non-pathogenic and non-toxic strain of A. pullulans using food-grade components. Available as a white powder, pullulan is odorless, flavorless, and highly stable. Pullulan has been used in Japan for more than 20 years in various food and pharmaceutical applications. It is approved as a food ingredient in Japan by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, listed in the Japanese Pharmaceutical Excipient (JPE-1933 edition), and is widely used in Japan as a pharmaceutical additive for tablet bulking and stabilization. Capsugel manufactures Plantcaps capsules from pharmaceutical grade pullulan as described in the JPE monograph. Pullulan has the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) GRAS status (N˚ GRN 000099, August 1, 2002).
Pullulan Safety Information
The safety of pullulan is supported by 20 years of human consumption in Japan and by the absence of adverse events in human trials at doses of 10 grams of pullulan per day to evaluate metabolism and digestion.
Pullulan has achieved broad regulatory acceptance around the world with its proven safety record. Since Plantcaps capsules are a universal solution for multiple world markets, supplement companies will gain global leverage for their product development investment. Pullulan is approved in the U.S.A. and Canada, and approved in Japan for all food and dietary supplement products. In Asia, it is approved in Australia, New Zealand, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.
It is also an approved food additive for solid food supplements in Europe at quantum satis, the appropriate amount needed to achieve the desired results.
Additional Plant-Based Capsule Choices
Plantcaps capsules are the newest capsule shells in Capsugel’s portfolio of plant-based products. Other non-animal capsule options include Vcaps© capsules, the long-established best-selling vegetarian capsules worldwide, and Vcaps© Plus capsules, both high-quality, high performance hypromellose (HPMC) capsules. Vcaps© and Vcaps© Plus capsules are strong and durable, even in heat and humidity, and demonstrate excellent performance with low moisture or hygroscopic ingredients. Vcaps© Plus capsules have enhanced fast-release performance, are approved for organic labeling if filled with organic ingredients in Europe, and offer branding options with color, luster and shine.
Capsugel’s vegetarian DRcaps™ capsules delay disintegration to protect against dissolving sensitive ingredients in the stomach. They provide maximum taste-masking, and reduce the after-taste and burping effect. DRcaps™ capsules are also acid-resistant with no coatings, resulting in lower manufacturing costs. Capsugel offers full manufacturing support, including onsite problem resolution, for all its capsule products.
More than ever before, today’s health-conscious consumers are focused on what they ingest. To meet the growing demand for nonanimal products with specific features, supplement producers need to offer capsules that satisfy a range of cultural, lifestyle and dietary needs. Plantcaps pullulan-based capsules have all the advantages of standard two-piece hard gelatin capsules, and meet the strict dietary needs of customers worldwide who choose a vegetarian lifestyle. They also offer robust performance with a wide range of ingredients. Providing supplements in these pure, natural capsules reinforces the overall quality of both distributors and their products.
1. Euromonitor Annual Study 2011 – Green Influences – interactive survey of 16,000 respondents globally.
2. Natural Marketing Institute, Supplement/OTC/Rx Database (SROD) Overview, November 2011.
3. Capsugel Non-Animal Portfolio Survey, US, UK, Germany, France, & Italy, February 2012.