Kemin launches encapsulated butyrate for next-gen gut health support

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© DrAfter123 / Getty Images
© DrAfter123 / Getty Images

Related tags butyrate microbiome encapsulation

Iowa-based Kemin Industries has launched a new encapsulated form of calcium butyrate called ButiShield to help fortify overall gut health by supporting the strength and integrity of the intestinal wall.

The ingredient is produced using proprietary MicroPEARLS spray freezing technology to encapsulate the butyric acid, allowing for sustained and controlled release along the gastrointestinal tract—and with easier handling due to its low odor, said the company in a press release.

The MicroPEARLS encapsulation technology reportedly neutralizes butyric acid’s typically off-putting odor and helps to ensure its benefits are being delivered to the gut.

Butyric acid (salts of butryare known as butyrates) is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) reported to have multiple health benefits, including for cognitive and mental health. Other benefits include:
• Helping to shape a healthy microbiome and gastrointestinal environment
• Serving as a signaling molecule to regulate numerous metabolic processes at the cellular level
• Serving as a primary energy source for healthy intestinal cells
• Supporting intestinal barrier integrity

A spokesperson for Kemin told NutraIngredients-USA that while butyric acid/ butyrate is traditionally regarded as a postbiotic Kemin follows the consensus definition from the International Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP): A preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host​ (Salminen et al., Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol​, 2021).

“This definition means that ButiShield would not be considered a postbiotic, but that the product should be named using the clear nomenclature of butyric acid,” said the spokesperson.

Despite its benefits, products containing butyrate have many formulation and operational challenges due to its unpleasant odor and difficult handling, said the company.

“ButiShield is an exciting new offering for brands who are looking to reformulate or expand into the digestive health category,” said Chris Sadewasser, Global Product Manager, Kemin Human Nutrition and Health. “Our latest innovation delivers well-known butyric acid in a novel way to support a healthy gut, improve the consumer experience and help formulators overcome manufacturing challenges.

“Kemin has mastered encapsulation technology with cutting-edge MicroPEARLS, originally developed to support gut health in animals. Now, we’re elevating the proprietary application to reach a new level in human health, providing a unique solution to the evolving gut health market.”


Kemin describes ButiShield as a low-odor, non-GMO, allergen-free, gluten-free, kosher, halal and vegetarian ingredient solution providing greater than 35% butyric acid.

Commenting on the dose, the spokesperson told us: “The amount of butyric acid naturally produced by the microbiota varies a lot depending on both external factors, such as the amount and type of fiber intake, and internal factors, such as the host microbiome composition, pH of the gut and host genetics. The daily demand of butyric acid in physiological conditions ranges between 1 g and 10 g and studies have shown the benefits of butyrate administration with doses as low as 250 mg butyric acid.”

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