Nutritional supplement suppliers and manufacturers of antacids continue to develop new product forms that are more appealing to consumers and easier to take. Two of these developments are soft chews and soft gels.
Soft Chew Calcium Supplements and Antacids
Increasingly popular with consumers are soft chews—candy-like cubes with chocolate, caramel, fruit and other flavors. They are pleasant to take, even a treat. Formulas can be developed for both sugar-based and sugar-free products.
The chewy matrix provides a tasty background that allows relatively high loadings of calcium, to provide enough calcium carbonate to function effectively as an antacid, and/or to provide enough elemental calcium to function as a dietary supplement.
Soft chews require calcium carbonates of high surface area and high oil absorption to provide thickening and body to the underlying confectionery mixture. Several of Specialty Minerals precipitated calcium carbonates (PCCs) are ideal for this application. The PCCs with the highest oil absorptions are the CalEssence® 160, ViCALity® Extra Light, and Calopake® Extra Light PCCs. These are scalenohedral in particle shape—like starbursts—and you can see in the micrograph how a large amount of liquid would be required to fill all of the voids created. For example, the oil absorption of the 1.6 micron particle sized CalEssence 160 is 74 (grams of oil/100 grams of pigment). Compare this to the oil absorption of a typical 2 micron ground calcium carbonate of about 22.
The CalEssence® 70 and ViCALity Albafil® PCCs can also be used. These are 0.7 micron precipitated calcium carbonates, with oil absorptions in the 35 range.
Soft Gel Calcium Supplements and Antacids
Soft gels are soft gelatin capsules that are filled with liquids or with dispersions of insoluble minerals or drugs in a liquid carrier. These liquid filled dosage forms are growing in demand as consumers relate them to faster acting and easier, more gentle absorption.
To make the soft gel as small as possible with a given amount of calcium, calcium carbonate should be used, as its 40 percent elemental calcium content requires the least amount of solids per capsule. Also helping to minimizing soft gel size is the choice of a larger particle sized, denser precipitated calcium carbonate, such as CalEssence 1500, ViCALity® Ultra Heavy or Sturcal™ L PCC.
Specialty Minerals Precipitated Calcium Carbonates For Soft Chews and Soft Gels
The CalEssence® and ViCALity® PCCs are made in the U.S. and meet United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and Food Chemical Codex (FCC) requirements. CalEssence PCCs have less than 125 ppb lead, and ViCALity® PCCs have less than 500 ppb lead, important if your products must meet the requirements of California Proposition 65. Calopake® and Sturcal™ PCCs are made in the U.K. and are certified to meet EP, BP, and E170i food additive requirements. They can also be certified to meet USP and FCC on request. All are certified Kosher and are available for export.
Both the Adams, Massachusetts, and Birmingham, United Kingdom, Specialty Minerals facilities are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Drug Manufacturing Facilities, and follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Both plants are also ISO 9000 quality certified.
- Specialty Minerals calcium carbonates for nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals
- SMI calcium carbonates in antacids
- SMI minerals Used in consumer products
- Download technical data sheets for SMI products
- What is Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC)? A mineral introductory webpage
- What is PCC For Healthcare? A downloadable information sheet
- Useful information for formulators: Downloadable information sheets on bioavailability, economics of formulating with calcium carbonate, and effect of particle size and shape on supplement properties.
- Lead in Calcium-Containing Products: California Proposition 65 A downloadable information sheet.
- Osteoporosis: Anyone Can Be At Risk—Even You! A downloadable information sheet
- About Specialty Minerals Inc.
- SMI Quality: Good Manufacturing Practices and Kosher Certification