New consumer study shows ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ iron supplement tastes less metallic

By Claudia Adrien

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers report the new powdered stick is significantly easier and pleasant to digest. Getty Images / 	Dmitrii Khvan
Consumers report the new powdered stick is significantly easier and pleasant to digest. Getty Images / Dmitrii Khvan

Related tags Iron supplements Iron deficiency Nutrition absorption

Iron supplementation often has a reputation of being unpalatable, but a new study demonstrates how one solution satisfies the taste buds.

Designed by Lubrizol Life Science, Lipofer is an orosoluble, highly concentrated, micronized and microencapsulated iron source that reduces iron’s reactivity in the mouth and digestive tract, the company said. According to a consumer study, the fully absorbable “melt-in-your-mouth” powdered stick is significantly easier and pleasant to digest.

“These consumers are eager for a supplement that is easy to swallow, does not cause stomach upset or constipation and does not have an unpleasant aroma or flavor,” said David Padró Escayola, global business manager for Lubrizol’s nutraceutical business. “Above all, they want it to effectively improve wellness. Lipofer was specifically designed to tick all those boxes.”

Mild metallic taste

Iron is an essential mineral for general health, and supplementation can help people with iron deficiency maintain healthy iron levels. However, supplementing with iron can leave a powerful and unpleasant metallic aftertaste that is off-putting to consumers.

Lubrizol wanted to determine if its new stick could address this taste challenge.

In a blind taste test, the company gave 100 healthy participants between 18 to 60 years old 1 g each of five different iron supplements. The participants, all of whom had previous experience taking iron supplements, ranked the products according to preference. Next, they validated the iron stick format and answered questions about consumption habits.

Participants considered Lipofer-5 and Lipofer-14 to have the mildest metallic taste and aftertaste intensities with the lowest duration of a metallic taste.

“[Lipofer] delivers the daily recommended dose of iron in a single, 1.5 g stick that satisfies the demands for science-backed, clinically substantiated ingredients with sensory appeal,” Escayola said.

Lubrizol conducted an analysis on the iron category using a consumer insights AI-powered platform to gain an understanding of what drives good or negative sentiments regarding iron supplementation.

The participants reported that Lubrizol’s orosoluble product was the most attractive format for iron supplements with 98% of consumers very or extremely satisfied with the new supplement form. Ninety-two percent of consumers said they were very or extremely satisfied with the new form compared to other iron supplementation they took previously.

Finally, 100% of consumers considered it strongly beneficial to take the new format once a day.  

A variety of consumption options

Lubrizol said the Lipofer powdered stick is water dispersible and can be integrated into a wide variety of supplement formats and to fortify convenient foods including dairy products and fruit juices. It has also been formulated in a pectin-based gummy, expanding options for iron supplementation.

The consumer study is part of the Lubrizol nutraceutical division mission, Connecting the Dots: Guiding supplement makers through the consumer mind​. Data from the Lipofer study will be presented at SupplySide West 2023, Oct 25-26, in Las Vegas, booth #3076.

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