Seaweed: not just for sushi

Looking to develop a new coating solution for oral solid dosage forms, FMC Health and Nutrition identified a natural raw material that held intrinsic enteric properties — alginates

FMC Health and Nutrition specialises in products for the food, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.

As we work to serve each sector, we are constantly analysing market research to uncover opportunities for new, innovative product ideas that strengthen our existing offerings, ensuring efficiencies and cost-effectiveness for both our current and future customers.

The new Aquateric N100 Enteric Coating solution is a testament to these initiatives. Through our analyses, we recognised a need in the market for a clean label, non-GMO enteric coating.

Because of our extensive expertise in coating technologies and naturally derived ingredients, we felt we were uniquely suited to deliver a product with optimised functionality, at a lower cost-in-use than our competitors, that would round out our existing nutraceutical portfolio of ingredients. This was a logical next step in our effort to become a one-stop shop for our customers’ needs.

Currently, our nutraceutical offerings include our Epax brand omega-3 concentrates that lead the pack in innovation and functionality, our vegetarian-friendly, gelatin-alternative SeaGel soft capsule technology and our broad “Natural Colors” portfolio that can produce almost every pigment in a range of applications.

When determining the next extension of our portfolio, we felt that an enteric coating would get us one step closer to offering a complete solution for our nutraceutical customers, and we knew we had the knowledge and expertise to develop a product from a natural raw material that held intrinsic enteric properties — alginates.

FMC and seaweed

With respect to current and upcoming trends, seaweed is no longer just for sushi; it’s been growing in popularity with consumers and manufacturers alike. Those familiar with FMC know that we specialise in seaweed technologies, and take initiatives to help our customers deliver on this trend.

From carrageenan in foods and pharmaceuticals to brown seaweed for sausage casings and anti-reflux applications, we have decades of experience in what lies under the sea. Not only is seaweed incredibly functional in a variety of applications, it’s a sustainable resource that’s good for the environment.

FMC is the only producer that manufacturers alginates in-house, made possible by our own fleet of ocean freighters that are specially designed to harvest seaweed. Because of our existing supply chain, FMC has a secure raw material supply, with no risk of shortage, enabling us to meet the highest demands of alginate functionality.

Combined with our work in seaweed, FMC has supported the pharmaceutical industry for the last 50 years with an innovative coating product portfolio for controlled release and taste making applications. Our expertise in the optimisation of coating technologies has positioned us well to deliver an effective solution for enteric demands.

Aquateric N100 enteric coating

Through extensive R&D, we’ve learned a great deal about brown seaweed, the source of alginates. But the fact of most interest to our new product, Aquateric N100, is that we’ve learned alginates are inherently enteric, or innately have the ability to prevent disintegration in the gastric environment.

Using our existing portfolio, product and application expertise, and understanding of market research, we developed Aquateric N100 enteric coating, an alginate-based solution that offers an improved sensory experience for consumers and a simplified manufacturing process with significant cost-savings for our customers.

Aquateric N100 meets consumer demand for clean label and non-GMO ingredients, a critical aspect of added value given the growing popularity of naturally derived ingredients.

From carrageenan in foods and pharmaceuticals to brown seaweed for sausage casings and anti-reflux applications, we have decades of experience in what lies under the sea

In addition, we offer the enteric coating in a powder form, which is unlike the liquid alternatives of our competitors. This enables easier transportation and storage, with the added bonus of 50% less clean up from a one-step system — simply add water and the coating is complete.

To ensure that the technologies we provide are brought into our customers’ processes successfully, we provide a number of informational resources to manufacturers and brand owners, as well as offer on-hand support for adoption and installation once the technology arrives.

We’ve found that it makes every difference to our customers to work with a supplier that is not only an expert in the raw material, but also in the coating technology itself. By working collaboratively, we can make certain that our customers will get the most effective end product possible, ultimately ensuring their sustained success.

Through our streamlined supply chain, combined with the ease of shipping and storage and the product’s inherently lower cost-in-use than other products on the market, Aquateric N100 is the only cost-effective, naturally derived enteric coating solution available at 25% less than that of the competition.

We know it works

FMC, in partnership with its customers, has been successfully evaluating the technology at a larger scale through beta tests of Aquateric N100 enteric coating. We know that the technology is versatile enough for use with gelatin capsules, as well as seaweed-based capsules, such as our SeaGel capsule technology.

Aquateric N100 meets the dietary supplement enteric disintegration requirements, as it works by protecting the capsule while in the stomach and keeping it intact until further along in the digestive process, where it releases the active at higher pH levels. This allows for an improved sensory experience for the consumer by reducing unpleasant flavours and odours.

Conclusion

At FMC, we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt to the ever-evolving demands of the markets we serve. Aquateric N100 enteric coating is our answer to the need for a clean label, non-GMO solution that’s easy to use for our customers and even easier on their wallets.

We hope that our commitment to innovation and product development will help to propel the industry forward as a whole, and guarantee the continued success of our customers.

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