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Nutritional Outlook Highlights Innophos in 2023 Mineral Trends

In September 2023, Nutritional Outlook published an article which featured quotes from Dr. Yu Liu, PhD, Research and Development Manager at Innophos, who explains why Chelation Matters™.

Formats Beyond Gummies

While almost everyone is hopping aboard the chew-chew train, at least two companies remind us that not everyone is ready to throw out other tried-and-true forms.

“Though gummies have gained significantly in popularity,” according to Yu Liu, PhD, research and development manager at Innophos (Cranbury, NJ), “softgels and capsules are different supplement forms that continue to be popular for end-consumers.” He believes that these forms are also “still a nice alternative to those with so-called ‘pill fatigue.’”

The Case for Chelation

Heeding the latest desires for friendlier delivery forms is just one challenge for this market. Another is bioavailability. And some would say that there’s not a more sizzling trend in today’s minerals market than minerals that are chelated—a process many agree that, compared to non-chelated minerals, makes mineral absorption easier for the body.

In fact, says Liu, in addition to embracing new delivery systems like gummies to appeal to a broader population, “improving the dynamics of nutrient absorption to boost nutrition through mineral chelation” is another key way of advancing the minerals category.

He’s got reason behind his rationale. Innophos recently compared three different USP sources of magnesium citrate compounds and their effects on the texture and stability of pectin-based gummies. The company summarized its study results in a new white paper in support of its branded Chelamax magnesium citrate ingredient for gummies. Liu, who is a co-author of the white paper, proclaims that “bioavailability is a major concern as our customers are not just seeking out higher loading but also improved bioavailability, which we are able to provide with many of our chelated compounds.”

Overcoming Other Challenges in the Minerals Market

Given the scope of Innophos’s white paper, Liu speaks specifically to the gummy segment when he says that “the texture is a major concern from large-scale multinational customers.” He notes that “they specifically call out grittiness, for example, as a significant textural concern for their products and are always on the lookout for new, improved mineral raw materials to solve this issue.”
Among the findings in the Innophos study on which the white paper was based was the result that showed that pectin gummies made with Chelamax magnesium citrate exhibited a more pleasing texture, less stickiness, and higher loading levels of magnesium compared to the other ingredients.

Liu also points to “the stability of the mineral in the gummy,” observing that mineral stability for product formulators “is top of mind as the mineral compound can degrade over time and the level of mineral decreases. Manufacturers compensate for this by adding significant overage of minerals to the supplement, which leads to increased costs.” Sidestepping this need is a major advantage.

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