Xampla’s plant-based microencapsulation product for vitamins coming to market this year
06 Sep 2022 --- A spin-out of Cambridge University, Xampla has announced that its microencapsulation product is now ready to be brought to market. The product allows companies to include vitamins in beverages with clear-plastic containers without having to worry about the damaging effects of sunlight or degradation during transportation and storage.
The move comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the health consciousness of people from all demographics, aging and young alike. Innova Market Insights holds that this represents a possible permanent shift in consumer focus and on the tail of a US$1.36 million infusion from beverage company Britvic at the beginning of the year.
“Xampla’s microencapsulates protect vitamins from degradation, particularly in beverages. In practice this means that brands can use our technology to micro-package vitamins or other nutrients (any oil based material) in liquid,” Stanley Mitchell, business development manager, Xampla, tells NutritionInsight. “Our material protects the vitamin from pasteurization and UV rays, meaning that it reaches the consumer intact, and at full efficacy.”
“We are currently working with various household name brands, and their manufacturing partners to bring this technology to market,” he continues. “We also produce our edible and soluble films for food, and will be scaling up the production of these products.”
Mitchell explains that the vitamin oil droplets are wrapped in a plant-based, structured, pea protein shell that protects the vitamins from UV rays and the “heat shock” that can occur during transport. According to Xampla, this helps companies to avoid costly overages such as those that come from infusing more vitamins into beverages than necessary.
“Current microencapsulated vitamins use soluble shell materials,” Mitchell explains. “Therefore these other encapsulation products primarily serve as a handling aid but dissolve upon incorporation and offer no protection to the vitamin in formulation.”
“This technology will expand the range of beverage products that can be fortified with critical vitamins, including vitamin D, offering consumers support for healthier bones and teeth through the products they already enjoy and the brands they already trust.”
The company further explains that this new plant-based product can be used for a number of products. Xampla states that variations of pea protein packaging can be used to help some of the most pollutant plastics and may be the answer to single-use plastics.
Mitchell further states that there is much more the product can do in the nutrition space as well. “Our microencapsulation is a platform technology that can be used to ‘micropackage’ vitamins A, E, K and a range of other oil-soluble botanicals into beverages,” he underscores.
“This is a means to revolutionize the delivery of essential vitamins to consumers, without the need for them to remember to take supplements. Meanwhile, the beverages retain exactly the same taste as before,” he adds. “Vitamin D is just the beginning.”
Toward a non-plastic planet
Xampla further notes that their products require no complex industrial recycling or compost infrastructure. The company states that their microcapsules can transform the ways in which nutrients are delivered while their films and plastics can reduce the amount of ocean plastics as well as microplastics.
“Xampla works with our customers, beverage manufacturers, to deliver exactly what they, and their customers need,” says Mitchell.” We work with brands around their existing production processes, to complement existing products, adding the active encapsulates that we know will drive sales and brand desire with consumers.”
“Our mission is both to replace the most polluting plastics altogether and to do things with our patented material that plastic never could: vitamin microcapsules are a prime example of a brand new application for our material, and we are really proud to bring it to market this year,” he concludes.
By William Bradford Nichols
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