Responding to rise of keto product launches, Phytochem to distribute micro-encapsulated MCT

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Lena Zajchikova
Getty Images / Lena Zajchikova
California based ingredient supplier Phytochem inked a deal with Chinese firm Shaanxi Healthful Bioengineering (HSF Biotech) to distribute the latter’s micro-encapsulated MCT powder in the US.

The micro-encapsulated medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) powder, commercialized under the brand named VegeLiPi, is derived from coconut and palm oils, said Pollyanna Fang, marketing manager at Phytochem​.

“MCT is very popular right now,” ​she told us. Driving this demand, she added, were formulators in the sports nutrition, weight management, and especially the low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet categories.

According to data from Innova Market Insights​, a market research company specializing in consumer packaged goods (CPG), there were more than 500 products launched with ketogenic claims globally in 2017, compared to 300 products in 2016 and less than 100 products in 2015.

On Google Trends, online searches​ in the US for ‘MCT oil’ peaked to its highest point this summer, suggesting that the ingredient is top of mind for more US consumers than it has ever been.

While several of the earliest launches for MCT oil were in, as the name suggests, oil format, brands have been releasing powdered versions of the ingredient this year so consumers can easily mix it in protein shakes or other food and beverage items.

Examples of recent finished product launches this year include Nutiva’s MCT Powder​ introduced at Expo West, as well as several products within Perfect Keto’s​ line of powder supplements.

Fang added that advantages over oil of a micro-encapsulated, powdered format for MCT like the one her company will distribute include convenience of transportation, ease of mixing, a creamier texture, and better digestibility.

“We are thrilled to partner with HSF Biotech and are enthusiastic about introducing the most innovative and competitively priced micro-encapsulated powdered MCT products to the U.S market,”​ said Frank Li, the president of Phytochem. “HSF Biotech’s special MCT powder is dedicated to meeting or exceeding the USP Guidelines for dietary supplements.”

HSF Biotech has dozens of patents in biological technologies.

“We are very excited to enter an agreement with Phytochem. This partnership will definitely result in increased market share in North America,”​ said Yusong Li, president of HSF Biotech.

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