Consumer compliance and the ability to attract the end-users are part of the mission of nutraceuticals and functional foods industries. Product acceptability apart from documented efficacy depends primarily on subject’s subjective assessment of the dosage form in terms of aesthetic parameters such as appearance, which includes colour, shape, taste and flavour.

While the oral administration of a variety of active nutraceutical ingredients has been proved to be effective as health supplements. However, their undesirable organoleptic sensations (e.g., aversive taste and/or odour) always decrease acceptability and customer compliance and thus compromise the health benefits.  

Consumers tend to avoid anything with a disagreeable taste. It is a phenomenon that occurs because of transfer of signals from taste receptors in the taste buds that are present on the tongue. There are four basic taste sensations i.e., Sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Other secondary tastes attributed to foods are astringent taste (with tea infusion); pungent taste (in capsaicin); and the metallic taste (of minerals).  

 Substances that are sweet are considered as pleasant, substances that are sour or salty are acceptable to many, and substances with bitter or metallic taste are deemed to be unpalatable. Taste masking of unpleasant tasting components is an economically driven process, since as improved palatability increases product acceptance and sales. Given that nutraceutical actives are concentrated forms of actives present in nature, they always have a characteristic taste which is at most times unpleasant. Therefore taste-masking techniques are of great importance to improve the acceptance of dietary supplement ingredients  

 Nutriventia by Inventia has developed a range of diverse range of taste-masking techniques over the last 35 years in the industry. This could be classified into various technology types as follows 

  • Conventional Masking procedures – Wherein ingredients with stronger flavour or taste (sweeteners) are combined with the active ingredients to allow the stronger palatable taste to overwhelm the receptors thereby giving the subject the perception of a palatable taste for the product.
  • Ingredient based Encapsulation –food compliant ingredients with a palatable taste are used to physically bind with the non-palatable active preventing its contact with receptors on the tongue 
  • Film Coating based encapsulation – herein a neutral tasting film is a used to coat /encapsulate the active ingredients to create a physical barrier.  
  • Lipid Barrier encapsulation – herein select lipids are utilized without the use of solvents to encapsulate the active particles  
  • Ingredient based complexation – This technique uses specific polymers, as an ionic complexing agent, to complex with bitter active molecules. The suppression of the bitterness is due to the formation of hydrogen bond between active and the polymer through the creation of an ionic bond and stable complex. The complexation would work either by reducing contact between the active moiety and the taste receptors by altering the solubility and dissolution at salivary pH.   
  •  It is notable to note that unlike conventional widely used procedures, Nutriventia’s processes are completely organic solvent free, in line with the corporate philosophy to apply science and thought to make Nature derived products safer and efficacious while ensuring pleasant consumer experience. 

    Posted by:Vishal Mhaskar

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