Nutrition Formulators has developed a new orally dissolving tablet for nutraceuticals, which could help companies attract customers who avoid taking daily supplements because they have an aversion to swallowing pills - without having to pay pharmaceutical prices.

The Florida-based contract manufacturer has spent the last 18 months developing its Fast Dissolution technology after it looked into using an alternative system but found the cost to be prohibitively expensive - double that of standard tablets in the supplements sector.

"Consumers will pay a premium for better products, but they are turned off when it is double," CEO Adolfo Graubard told NutraIngredients-USA.com. "It made no financial sense."

Rather, he set about seeking the perfect balance between mouth-feel and hardness using a cost-effective combination of ingredients, including polyol. The result is tablets that dissolve in the mouth in just five seconds, that are just 20 percent more expensive than traditional tablets.

In Graubard's book, delivery technology is an area of huge interest for the supplements sector at the moment. "In the 1980s and 1990s, new nutritional ingredients were coming to market every three months," he said. "Those days are gone. As the industry matures, delivery technology is where the opportunity lies."

Fast dissolving tablets are available in the pharmaceutical industry, but as well as being more expensive, Graubard pointed out that the majority of these come in blister packs, as they are relatively fragile and liable to break.

Some nutraceutical companies have started using sublingual films to attract consumers who do not wish to swallow tablets, but according to Graubard the potential ingredient load is limited. With his tablets, however, the load is up to 800mg.

Graubard declined to disclose the composition of Fast Dissolution tablets, since the intellectual property is still in the works. He does not plan to license its technology out to other companies in the sector, but prefers rather to make products for other people.

At present, Fast Dissolution tablets are available with glucose, glucosamine and chondroitin, Air Raid (for colds and 'flu), calcium, CoQ10, melatonin, policosanol, B12 complex, caffeine and hoodia.

The company does plan to develop more, but Graubard said that not all nutrients are benefit from this delivery system. He is most interested in ingredients that have better absorption in liquid form, or that some people are turned off because of the size of the pill they have to swallow.

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