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Veggie softgel innovation offers gelatin alternative for supplements

By Nikki Hancocks contact

- Last updated on GMT

Softgel capsules
Softgel capsules

Related tags: Innovation, New product development, capsules, Manufacturing

Roquette has launched a market-first pea starch technology, named LYCAGEL, which it claims will take vegetarian softgel formulations to the next level.

The global plant-based ingredients producer says the new system delivers excellent capsule performance that meets EU pharmacopeia standards, making it suitable for both nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.

The formulation is made using: pea starch; carrageenan, a setting agent sourced from marine macro algae; NEOSORB sorbitol, a plant-based ingredient suitable for nutraceutical application; and salt, as a jellifying agent.

“The launch of LYCAGEL marks a new era for softgel formulations and manufacturing. Manufacturers no longer need to compromise on performance when launching a vegetable softgel solution,” ​said Paul Smaltz, Head of Roquette’s Global Pharmaceutical business unit. “Designed to be easily adaptable to existing gelatin processes, LYCAGEL can support businesses in bringing vegetarian alternatives to market quickly, without significant changes to existing operations.”

The firm says this system offers excellent capsule strength, seal integrity, quick drying time without stickiness, fast disintegration, and when compared to gelatin, no cross-linking and higher processing temperature suitability, therefore enabling manufacturers to develop multi-ingredient and advanced formulations, and work with ingredients that require higher processing temperatures, such as pastes and waxes.

Smaltz adds: “LYCAGEL gives manufacturers the opportunity to take vegetarian softgel formulation further than ever before. As well as offering advanced performance, the pea starch system delivers on consumer visual appeal too – producing capsules with a transparent, shiny finish and excellent reproducibility."

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