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Ayanda, a Sirio company, is delighted to have announced it has secured a patent from the EPA for the first ever combination of probiotics coupled with Omega 3 oil within a single softgel capsule. We caught up with Ayanda’s Managing Director Dr. Dominque Baum at Vitafoods Europe – where the global nutraceutical industry comes together to create innovation and connect business leaders to shape the nutraceutical sector.
What is the innovation?
Just earlier this month, Sirio and Ayanda announced a new Global R&D Collaboration in which the company is involved in conducting proactive research on a number of projects focussing on the development and manufacturing of novel nutraceutical dosage forms and complex softgel combinations. Part of the groups remit is to explore new technologies ahead of the industry. By identifying a clear gap in the market, Ayanda designed an innovative softgel technology, which enables us to encapsulate both viable probiotic bacteria and at least one oil, such as fish oil, providing Omega 3. At Vitafoods, one of the largest events within the nutraceutical industry, we showcased our newtechnology on stand and during a presentation.
It is a true breakthrough in the group’s ability to develop and deliver a new probiotic dosage form – adding to the company’s existing probiotic capabilities in hard capsules, tablets and powdersticks.
Why is it so beneficial?
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts as part of food confer a health benefit on the host”.
The best-documented strains are the groups Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Scientific publications (e.g. with bifidobacterial) show that these unfold advantageous effects for the gastrointestinal area and the immune system.
Considering the ample health benefits, many consumers could profit from this combination, starting with the unborn child and the child’s mother. What is more, our product is also suitable for all adults concerned about preserving their vitality, vision, and vascular health.
One softgel capsule containing probiotics and Omega 3 can contribute to an array of health benefits by supporting brain function, eye health, cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal well-being as well as strengthening the immune system.
How long did it take?
This new approach we spent some 10-years perfecting, designing and testing process parameters that dramatically improved survival rates during production, as well as defining storage conditions accordingly. We found that by optimally adjusting to the specific characteristics of probiotics, we can minimize the loss of viable cells during production and form an intact softgel capsule, but it is a delicate balance.
What were the challenges you needed to overcome?
Softgel capsules contain moisture and are required to be manufactured at high temperatures, these factors can result in destruction of probiotics – as they are live microorganisms. This meant that historically softgels with probiotic formulations were unviable, as the probiotic survival rate was low.
Using the new process, however, provided a method of producing a softgel capsule by gently mixing the uncoated probiotic bacteria with at least one oil to obtain a softgel fill at a temperature in the range of 5 to 15°C. This allowed us to maintain optimal probiotic bacteria growth. Subsequently, drying the gelatine-based softgel capsule in a series of steps allows it to contain uncoated probiotic bacteria.
How do you anticipate the market to grow in relation to this dosage innovation?
Looking at the multiple benefits this 2-in-1 probiotic and Omega-3 softgel provides to a wide range of audiences, from prenatal children to adults, we are positive it responds to a keenly felt an unmet need in the market. It will enable Ayanda to offer unique softgel probiotics coupled with an additional oil – crucially reducing the number of dosages consumers need to get their supplement needs. With this new technology, we expect to see a large interest from nutraceutical brand owners, as it opens up many possibilities for truly novel products.”