Nutrients-in-a-cap technology billed as easier to use debuts on US market

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Nutrients-in-a-cap technology billed as easier to use debuts on US market

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A new competitor has arrived on the ingredients-in-a-cap scene as Kansas-based Amerigo Labs brings a licensed bottle technology popular in Europe to the US market.

The idea is not a new one. Putting ingredients into caps has been around for a while as a way for formulators to deal with the issue of how to incorporate active ingredients that might be potentially unstable in solution, thereby negatively affecting shelf life.  Putting the ingredients into the cap might also allow the use of ingredients that might interact negatively with each other when in solution.

Appeal to pill-averse consumers

Ralph Maser, CEO of Amerigo Labs, which is located near Kansas City, said his company’s technology differs from those already on the market.  Amerigo has licensed the technology from Italian firm Bormioli Rocco.

“Most of the others I’ve seen are not as easy or as interactive for the consumer to use. And they don’t hold as much as our plug in cap technique does,”​ Maser told NutraIngredients-USA.

“Some of the others, once you deploy the ingredients the cap isn’t as easily segregated from the bottle as our new shaker is,” ​he said.

Amerigo's cap is first screwed down tighter to break the seal and deploy the nutrients and then is screwed in the other direction to remove it entirely. Maser said the technology has broad application not only for hard-to-formulate ingredients but also to appeal to consumer segments like children or older adults who either don’t like to swallow pills or can’t. Communicating those benefits would be key for customers’ success in using the technology, he said.  

“There is no comparison in cost. Tablets or pills in a bottle will always be significantly less expensive. But for groups that don’t like or can’t take pills, it would be an opportunity for companies to extend their lines,” ​Maser said. 

Better absorption

Maser said there is also a case to be made for better absorption of ingredients that are already in a liquid matrix when ingested.

“If my diet is poor and I don’t have the intestinal flora to pull all of the nutrients I need out of that capsule, even if I am spending a small amount on a tablet or a capsule I might not be getting the full value of my investment. In a liquid you are always going to absorb the ingredinets fully,” ​Maser said.

The company currently has capacity to manufacture bottles ranging up to 60 ml and is looking into a 4 oz size. In Europe, Maser said the most popular application for the technology has been in the delivery of probiotics and he anticipates that application would be popular in the North American market, too. The energy shot market might be another popular application.

“I wouldn’t foresee 5 Hour Energy being interested; if you’ve already got something like 95% of the market why would you change?  But it might appeal to anyone that has an energy brand and wants to do something different that would help you stand out in the marketplace,”​ he said.

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