From joint health, active nutrition and healthy aging to heart health, digestive health and immune support, a growing number of consumers are now taking an increasingly proactive approach to maintaining overall health. This has also fueled the rise of the personalization trend, which is gaining traction as the ways in which people define and address their health needs change. For today’s value-driven consumer, however, it is important to achieve health and wellness goals without compromise. Solutions that are able to meet the expectations of individuals in line with their specific health needs—however many conditions that may encompass—in an easy, convenient format are becoming more popular as a result.
In response to these trends, combination supplement products—delivering multiple health benefits in a single dosage form solution—can present an exciting alternative for manufacturers and brand owners looking to innovate and develop unique, on-trend products. As an increasing number of consumers are now taking more than one supplement on a regular basis, combined dosage form solutions can provide a more accessible solution for today’s busy supplement users as well as enabling brands to develop products that address the personalization trend. Dosage form technologies used to deliver multiple ingredients may also enhance product efficacy, for example, catering for different release profiles, whether immediate or timed, or improving bioavailability through ingredient combinations. Finally, considering new combinations of ingredients may allow manufacturers to make efficiencies in the production process. Through optimizing cost in dose, both profitability and productivity can be improved.
This article looks at the main challenges that supplement manufacturers may face when combining ingredients, from choosing the right actives through to dosage form selection.
Creating New Possibilities
With the number of ingredient options available continuing to increase, it is crucial that supplement manufacturers are aware of the complexities of combining ingredients when developing a new dietary supplement product. One plus one does not always equal two. To help ensure the success of a finished solution, manufacturers and brand owners alike need to consider the product as a whole from the outset—including planning the right ingredients, formulation and dosage form. Ingredient choice, for instance, is often driven by the consumer need—in other words, the number of health benefits that supplement manufacturers are looking to deliver. Single-purpose combinations can address a specific area of concern, like joint health, by combining ingredients, such as undenatured type II collagen and curcumin. On the other hand, brand owners may decide to develop innovative combinations that address several on-trend health benefits in one dosage form. Research commissioned by Lonza found that U.S. consumers reported being likely to use a supplement to manage specific conditions such as heart health and digestive health, and so delivering a product that meets both of these needs will enhance consumer appeal.1
It is also essential that supplement manufacturers are aware of the compatibility of the selected ingredients and help ensure that they will not react negatively to one another once in the formulation. Indeed, each ingredient has its own set of characteristics and might be sensitive to conditions which may affect the performance of the overall product. For digestive health applications, probiotics ingredients, for instance, can be challenging to formulate, as moisture exposure, humidity, temperature and stomach acid may trigger delivery before reaching the intestines.
As a result, it is important that supplement manufacturers substantiate the synergy of the combined ingredients at different stages in the process, thus making sure that each ingredient is ultimately delivered in an efficacious dose that is readily absorbed by the body. This helps streamline production and reduce the risk of challenges arising further down the line. Typically, doses are initially determined and validated by existing scientific literature, where records of an observed health benefit at a particular dose are used as a reference. Further clinical testing can then be carried out to determine the synergy and efficacy of the ingredient combinations on a case-by-case basis.
Choosing the Right Delivery System
Selecting the dosage format is also key to help ensure the efficacy and the performance of the ingredient combination and therefore the finished product, especially as the ingredient state may vary from solid to semi-solid or liquid. Easy to swallow and convenient, capsules remain the preferred dosage form, as 42 percent of U.S. supplement users reportedly mentioned in a survey conducted by Lonza.2 Innovative technologies such as Lonza’s DUOCAP capsule-in-capsule delivery format, or tablet-in-capsule solution are ideally suited for multi-component formulas and can allow more bioavailable liquid forms of trending ingredients to be used in formulations, enabling previously incompatible states, like a liquid and powder or two liquids, to be combined into a single dose. Sometimes, the ingredient combination itself can also address bioavailability issues. Krill, for instance, which contains omega fatty acids, can be combined with ingredients such as curcumin in a capsule-in-capsule delivery format to provide other benefits. Curcumin typically has poor bioavailability, but the extra phospholipid contained in krill also helps to emulsify the curcumin as an additional synergy.
Finally, capsule technologies such as Lonza’s DRcaps can also boost the performance of ingredients through optimizing release profiles of acid sensitive ingredients or improving consumer experience. This means that manufacturers can combine ingredients with different release profiles in the same product—delivering the benefits of one ingredient immediately, and then another progressively through a timed release of up to six hours in some cases.
When selecting delivery systems, some ingredients can also pose additional challenges if they require additional processing, such as blending and emulsifying, due to poor absorption rates. Solutions such as beadlets and Lipid Multiparticulate (LMP) technology can help to enhance an ingredient’s performance, by creating a microsphere that can be modified and delivered in a variety of formats, such as tablets, powders and capsules. Highly versatile, such technologies can help manufacturers overcome formulation issues and create efficacious combination products.
Combining ingredients presents exciting opportunities for manufacturers to develop innovative supplement solutions that stand out in a crowded market. With today’s consumers looking to achieve overall health and wellness, combining ingredients can help meet one or several health needs in a convenient, single dosage form. The process of combining ingredients may pose additional formulation considerations that manufacturers and brand owners need to address, especially in relation to ingredient choice, compatibility and the selection of delivery format. It may be challenging, but the reward is a product that better meets the needs of modern consumers.
As an integrated solutions provider, helping customers solve their challenges and meet their objectives is Lonza’s goal. Its portfolio of science-backed ingredients and dosage and delivery forms, as well as its extensive R&D and manufacturing expertise, supports brand owners’ delivery of unique supplement solutions, offering targeted effects and increasingly diverse benefits.
For more information, visit www.lonza.com. NIE
1,2 Natural Marketing Institute, 2018 Lonza SORD report, 2019.
As the Head of Global Innovation and Technology for Lonza’s Consumer Health and Nutrition Business, White is responsible for the development of unique delivery technology and formulation solutions to support consumer needs. He has over 13 years of industry experience that includes product development and innovation, as well as commercialization of consumer products from ideation to shelf for rapid growth brands within the supplement industry.