Colorcon is expanding its Nutrafinish Film Coatings portfolio to include “Label Friendly” and “TiO2-Free” (titanium dioxide-free) coatings for the nutritional and dietary supplements market.
“The launch of these new formulations provides the nutritional market with much-needed alternative coating systems that address clean label consumer preferences and are easy to implement,” says Kelly Boyer, vice president film coatings at Colorcon.
The latest coatings are based on naturally-derived colorants, excluding the use of TiO2 and talc.
Push back against TiO2
TiO2-free claims have gained attention in recent years in the EU since the French government banned the white pigment (E 171) in 2019 over inconclusive data on its safety.
The ban in France triggered controversy over the additive, which is still permitted in the EU. The debate over its safety has further driven consumer demand for clean label supplements.
Colorcon’s portfolio expansion has responded to the need for less additives with its new varieties of Nutrafinish Coatings
The new coatings were brought to market after extensive development to achieve a brighter white tablet finish with “superior opacity.”
Boyers notes that manufacturers also have the option to pigment using non-synthetic colors, enabling a broad choice of color to provide aesthetics and brand differentiation.
Difficult to replace
Manufacturers are looking for sustainable ingredients that can achieve label friendly status while not compromising on product quality, manufacturing efficiency, or cost-in-use.
“Getting the right balance of components for this type of coatings is challenging without the use of opacity and whitening ingredients like TiO2,” explains Dr. Ali Rajabi-Siahboomi, vice president and chief scientific officer at Colorcon.
“Through Colorcon’s in-depth knowledge of materials and coating technology, these new formulations provide simple preparation and use with the label friendly claims the industry and consumers are demanding.”
The solutions are positioned to reduce complexity and time-to-market for supplement manufacturers.
The coatings’ ingredients are selected from commonly used food ingredients or approved food additives that meet local regulatory requirements and support clean label claims, notes the company.
Boost for clean label supplements
The French government’s decision to ban TiO2 followed the opinion of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) that indicated there is still not enough data to properly assess the risks of the ingredient.
Closely following the announcement of France’s ban, Switzerland-based Lonza launched a TiO2-free capsule solution, moving ahead of the regulation’s enforcement.
In October 2020, the European Parliament called on the European Commission to apply the precautionary principle and to remove titanium dioxide (E 171) from the EU’s list of permitted food additives.
The Parliament wrote: Continuing to allow titanium dioxide (E 171) to be placed and sold on the market as a food additive runs counter to the provisions of Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 and may have adverse effects on the health of European consumers.
Nevertheless, it is still up to EU manufacturers (outside France) to determine whether to phase out the additive or not. This is policy is in line with guidance from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which has yet to find any definitive safety risks based on available data.
Last September, NutritionInsight reported on the industry’s move toward clean label supplements, with recognizable ingredient lists going from trend to industry staple.
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