Cutting edge, lipid multi-particulate technology enhances ingredient stability, functionality and versatility.
New supplement launches are sky-rocketing and the competition is fierce for brands. Support for a plethora of health areas is available on retailers’ shelves and knowing how to differentiate your products from the rest has never been more important. To address this, brands are exploring how innovations in ingredient and dosage form technology can set their product offering apart, while still delivering the demonstrated benefits consumers are looking for. And, in a market where consumers expect the very best, designing effective, appealing and stable supplements is crucial.
Exciting new solutions are emerging through advancements such as lipid multi-particulate technology. This innovative technique helps brands design products that support ingredient stability, versatility and functionality while also enhancing the consumer experience.
How Are Brands Innovating to Meet Changing Consumer Needs?
Dietary supplement consumers looking for convenient solutions increasingly expect products that adopt a complementary combination of trending ingredients. By combining on-trend ingredients with emerging technological innovations, brands can go further in differentiating their product portfolio at shelf. Innovations like Lonza’s lipid multi-particulate technology can support brands in enhancing ingredient absorption and bioavailability, protecting sensitive ingredients for greater stability across a diverse range of applications and formats, enabling more benefit-forward options than ever for consumers.
How Does Lipid Multi-particulate Technology Work?
Lipid multi-particulate technology is a proprietary, innovative technology that maximizes ingredient functionality and expands application versatility. It enhances ingredient absorption and bioavailability, protects from acidic conditions, makes it easier to combine liquid and solid ingredients, customizes release profiles, and masks taste and odor challenges. The technology uses a solvent-free manufacturing process to form lipid multi-particulates using a lipid (i.e., wax, fat) base combined with ingredient matter. While the technology sounds complex, the proprietary production process follows a few simple steps. First, a combination of waxes—types of which selected depends on the desired label claim and release profile—are mixed and melted. Then, the active ingredient is combined with these to create a mix of active and inactive material. This mixture is subsequently used to form spherical droplets to create the final lipid particulate using a proprietary melt-spray congealing process. This ultimately produces a microsphere of ingredient and lipid that can be used across a variety of different delivery forms—including tablets, powder blends and sachets, capsules, as well as food and beverage applications. The technology is so versatile that it can even be used to develop clean label products, using candelilla wax to create the microspheres.
Through the use of lipid multi-particulate technology, nutraceutical brands can unlock a wide range of formulation and consumer benefits.
Benefit 1: Effortless Versatility
A key benefit of lipid multi-particulate technology is that it makes it easier for brands to formulate with challenging ingredients. For example, phosphatidic acid is very sticky and can be difficult to work with but integrating it into a lipid multi-particulate technology system helps to overcome this issue by improving its physical properties, supporting dispersibility and making it easier for formulators to work with the ingredient.
The microspheres formed through lipid multi-particulate technology—which can contain one or more ingredients in combination—are also versatile enough to be used in a diverse range of delivery forms. In addition to being administered in capsules, such as liquid-filled capsules and capsule-in-capsule technologies, the excellent flow properties of the technology mean the microspheres can also be delivered in sachets, capsules, pastes, high acid juices, ready to drink beverages and more. Furthermore, the microspheres can be compressed into powders, making them suitable for use in tablets, or even in some cold-processed food products such as protein bars, offering outstanding application variety.
Benefit 2: Ingredient Optimization
The format of lipid multi-particulate technology is intentionally designed to allow for improved ingredient stability, resulting in better versatility around the types and combinations of ingredients that can be used. For example, incompatible ingredients such as solids and liquids would not remain stable when combined in other formats, but lipid multi-particulate technology allows them to coexist as the microspheres can be stably introduced to a wide variety of dosage forms. Additionally, the process protects ingredients from acidic conditions, like those found in the stomach or highly acidic finished products, improving their stability and efficacy while allowing for versatile release times, from immediate release to designed release of up to six hours.
As lipid multi-particulate technology subdivides the active ingredient across multiple discrete units (the microspheres), the technology may also support increased ingredient absorption and enhanced bioavailability. For example, one study found that the bioavailability of capsaicin was improved through the use of lipid multi-particulate technology, allowing greater ingredient absorption in higher doses without the typical capsaicin side effect of an uncomfortable burning sensation in the stomach.
Benefit 3: Customizable Release Profiles
The processing techniques used in lipid multi-particulate technology result in the homogenous distribution of materials throughout each solid microsphere, enabling the even release of ingredients after ingestion.
From immediate to sustained release, and those in between, a product’s release profile can be tailored depending on the specific release requirements for delivery of the final ingredient to maximize end benefits. Innovations like lipid multi-particulate technology allow companies to optimize and sustain an ingredient’s efficacy over an extended period of time—in some cases up to six hours. For example, lipid multi-particulate technology can support delayed-release between two and six hours for creatine in energy solutions such as exercise supplements. Alternatively, sustained release over six hours is achievable for ingredients such as melatonin, supporting “all night sleep” claims and formulations. When it comes to ingredients like caffeine and taurine, these can be offered with immediate release combined with a delayed-release profile for sustained energy to help avoid caffeine crash and jitters. These results are all achievable through lipid multi-particulate technology, enabling brands to take a targeted approach depending on a product’s desired health benefits.
Lipid multi-particulate technology also makes it possible to combine ingredients, even if they were previously incompatible. The process enables the combination of multiple ingredients into a single dose with dual or multi-phase release profiles, eliminating the need for multiple products and the inconvenience this may add to consumer routines. Fewer pills can translate to better consumer compliance and increase the likelihood of repeat purchase of a product.
Benefit 4: Consumer Experience
Although many consumers are showing increasing interest in organic, clean label and natural ingredients, these can come with some limitations and unwelcome effects. For example, many naturally derived ingredients finish with a bitter taste, odor or even “burp-back,” causing an unpleasant product experience for consumers. Lipid multi-particulate technology can help brands overcome such issues. For example, the incorporation of essential oils like lavender can present taste challenges; however, these flavors can be masked within the microspheres. This helps to eliminate common consumer concerns around the potentially overwhelming sensory properties of naturally derived products and botanical ingredients and helps brands to set themselves apart from their competitors.
Additionally, the appearance of a product can often influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. The visually appealing microspheres created with lipid multi-particulate technology can help products stand out on shelves, enriching the consumer experience and even supporting product premiumization. When used in liquid-filled capsules, in particular, the microspheres have a ‘snow globe-like’ appearance, setting them apart visually from other products on the market.
Unlock New Opportunities With Lipid Multi-particulate Technology
When innovating within the dietary supplement industry, it is crucial to balance an appetite for experimentation with factors such as ingredient stability and consumer appeal to develop a truly standout product. Lipid multi-particulate technology enables the development of products that are tailored to consumers and enables compelling and solution-oriented formulation innovation. From optimizing the stability, efficacy, and release of ingredients, to ensuring a positive consumer experience, lipid multi-particulate technology has the potential to expand the capabilities of the nutrition industry for the benefit of brands and consumers alike.
At Lonza, we help customers to solve product challenges by exploring new technologies, alongside our science-backed ingredients, innovative dosage forms, and industry-leading R&D and global manufacturing expertise. Find out how we can help you to innovate with lipid multi-particulate technology and unlock the potential of this emerging innovation in the nutraceutical space. NIE
Lindsey Toth, MS, RD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and associate director of marketing for Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients. At Lonza, she is responsible for overseeing global product management for the nutrition portfolio, including go-to-market strategies, product innovation, and product lifecycle management. For more information, contact email@example.com.