Crystal E® Natural Vitamin E for Brain, Skin, and Vision Boosting Benefits

Crystal E® Natural Vitamin E for Brain, Skin, and Vision Boosting Benefits

Formulas For Success is a monthly educational series from our leading formulation experts that covers the basics and fundamentals of trends in product formulation. Each time we’ll be featuring an emerging ingredient or combination of ingredients and sharing the key tips you’ll need to discover your own formula for success.

In our last edition, we illustrated how to achieve sugar reduction in bars using our original formula for a granola crisp bar as an example. Although the formula showcased a variety of sweetening solutions, it can also serve as a great demonstration of how to boost the health and nutritional value of food & snack products with the functional ingredient Vitamin E.

What Are The Benefits of Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a nutrient that’s important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain, and skin. The key to these benefits of Vitamin E is its powerful antioxidant properties. The process of oxidation and accelerated aging takes place in our bodies when cells are exposed to molecules called free radicals. Although free radicals form as a result of normal body processes, they can weaken and break down healthy cells. These molecules cause damage that shortens the life of our cells and may contribute to heart disease and cancer. The antioxidant Vitamin E may help reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process of cells. To take advantage of these benefits, the recommended daily dosage of vitamin E for adults is 15 milligrams a day.

Crystal E® Natural Vitamin E Powder

As a part of Nascent’s portfolio of health supplements and cellular nutrition ingredients, Crystal E® Vitamin E Powder is our brand of natural Vitamin E for manufacturers of food & nutrition products. Crystal E® is stable, readily bio-available, has good flowability, and preserves vitamin E’s original form as α-tocopherol (based on the FDA’s updates to the new supplement facts panel in the US, Vitamin E is now required to be labeled as α-tocopherol).

Crystal E® is co-crystallized to a stable, crystalline powder without any chemical modifications or an encapsulation process. It is available in its original form from a natural source (d-α-tocopherol ) by way of our patented production process. The current acetate form produced by esterification destroys its natural properties, making it less bio-available and reduces its antioxidant capabilities. Microencapsulation typically uses gelatin, an animal-based ingredient, but a plant-based starch form is also available at a higher cost.

Typical Vitamin E oil decomposes by roughly 22% over 4 weeks when stored at an accelerated temperature of 60˚C, whereas our co-crystalized product stays stable. Crystal E® was also shown to be much more stable when mixed with minerals or exposed to light. Minerals typically accelerate the decomposition of vitamins.

Stability Graph of Crystal E® Vitamin E vs. Vitamin E Oil

In a tablet or pill application, Crystal E® only needs 26% of the mass compared to synthetic α-tocopherol acetate powder (50%) due to its higher concentration of α-tocopherol. The higher concentration also has environmental and sustainability benefits because it doesn’t consume acetate anhydrate or silicone dioxide in the production process, and generates savings on packaging, shipping, storage, and production equipment costs.

Comparing the Cost of Crystal E® vs. Other Commercial Vitamin E Products

Here is a general cost comparison to the most common Vitamin E types on the market, including natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic forms of Vitamin E.

TypeProduct NameForm% of D-a Tocopherol1.0kg D-a-TECost per kgCost for D-a-TE
Pure NaturalD-α-tocopherolUnstable Oil100%1$95 per kg$0.095 per gram
Pure NaturalNatural Crystal E®Powder85%1.18$110 per kg$0.129 per gram
Semi-SyntheticD-α-tocopherol acetatePowder45%2.22$60 per kg$0.133 per gram
Semi-SyntheticD-α-tocopherol succinatePowder81%1.23$70 per kg$0.086 per gram
SyntheticVitamin E 50% Starch-based, No SiO2 or gelatinPowder22%4.55$30 per kg$0.135 per gram
SyntheticVitamin E 50% SiO2-basedPowder22%4.55$33 per kg$0.148 per gram
SyntheticVitamin E 50% Gelatin based (animal sourced with Al SiO2)Powder22%4.55$11 per kg$0.05 per gram

For a 90 count 15mg dosage product, the cost of Natural Crystal E® equates to $0.17 per bottle.

Ready to create your own formula for success? If you’re interested in learning more about formulating with Crystal E® Vitamin E Powder, contact one of our expert consultants for your product development and formulation needs!

Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO) for Sugar Reduction in Bars

Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO) for Sugar Reduction in Bars

Formulas For Success is a monthly educational series from our leading formulation experts that covers the basics and fundamentals of trends in product formulation. Each time we’ll be featuring an emerging ingredient or combination of ingredients and sharing the key tips you’ll need to discover your own formula for success.

Last time, we covered formulation tips for the dietary supplement Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) and featured a sample formulation in an energy bar. That generated interest amongst our readers in learning more about how to best formulate for sugar reduction in bars. It’s a common question our experts are asked since replacing sugar in a bar comes with unique challenges and requires a careful consideration of ingredients. For such product applications, we often turn to the prebiotic ingredient Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO).

What is Isomalto-Oligosaccharide?

IMO is a sweet bulking syrup produced from starch using enzymes. In the US, it is no longer considered a fiber but rather a prebiotic ingredient (Canada, however, does still count it as a fiber). The syrup has 3 calories/gram, 0.75 carbs/gram, 0.075g of added sugar/gram, and is approximately 34% as sweet as sugar. The taste profile is fairly clean, particularly at lower use levels but high use levels may present a taste similar to that of pine needles. IMO is available from corn or tapioca sources and can be applied in syrup or powdered forms.

The Challenges of Sugar Reduction in Bars

Substituting sugar in a bar is much more complicated than substituting sugar in a beverage, where water can be used to replace sugar in a 100% formula. When removing syrups in a bar, the binding capability in a bar is impacted. Another hurdle when reformulating a bar is the need to maintain a 100% formula. One change in an ingredient’s percentage necessitates a need to change the percentage of something else in the formula.

Something that will also be important to consider in the formulation of a bar is shelf life — namely, stopping the bar from hardening. Choosing ingredients that do not tend to harden over time is essential. It’s recommended that close attention is paid to ingredients such as the syrups/binders, lecithin, gums, fibers, sugars, and the addition of glycerin or something similar that helps maintain softness.

Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO) Formulation Example

To solve for these challenges of reducing sugar in bars, IMO is an ideal sweetener to use. To illustrate IMO in action, we created a granola crisp bar as a sample formulation. In this bar, we removed 50% of the brown rice syrup and countered with the addition of IMO syrup, stevia, and some more of the toasted oats. A balance of binding capacity and dry ingredients needs to be considered when making these types of changes.

To calibrate our mix of sugar reduction ingredients, we experimented with multiple syrups including Nascent’s allulose syrup and our other dietary fiber syrups. However, the other syrups didn’t have the binding capacity of the brown rice syrup and the bar fell apart more easily. If one were to formulate with a lower reduction goal than the 50% removal, the other syrups would likely be acceptable. In the findings from our testing though, Nascent’s isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) exhibited the best binding capabilities, similar to that of brown rice syrup.

Additional Ingredients to Consider

When using a binder in bars, it can be very sticky and manufacturing customers will likely need measures to prevent the bar from sticking onto their rollers when producing at commercial scale. The addition of oil will help but you will then need to add an antioxidant to slow oxidation over shelf life. As part of our ingredients portfolio, Nascent offers a patented Vitamin E which preserves the original α-tocopherol form for increased bioavailability. This can be added as a natural preservative for the oils in the bar.

Fiber is a common ingredient to be added to bars. Nascent has multiple fibers that can be included in bar formulations. In our granola crisp bar example, inulin was chosen as it also helps with the binding capability.

Another common ingredient in bars is proteins. Soy is a popular choice among manufacturers for a plant-based protein. Nascent can help identify other sources of protein powders such as pea or fava bean. Our technical teams regularly conduct thorough evaluations of top suppliers and can offer expertise on which powders offer the cleanest taste at a relatively low cost.

The delicious – and attractive – finishing touch for our bar is the chocolate coating. It can be drizzled on top, bottom coated, or fully enrobed. While the coating has a higher melting point than typical chocolate, a controlled-temperature distribution is likely needed to prevent the coating from melting during shipping.

Need the recipe for the granola crisp bar? Or ready to create your own formula for success? If you’re interested in learning more about formulating with Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO), contact one of our expert consultants for your product development and formulation needs!

Happy 10 Years! Announcing the New Nascent Health Sciences…

Happy 10 Years! Announcing the New Nascent Health Sciences…

Happy Anniversary! 🥂 It’s 2021 and we’re celebrating a fruitful 10 years for Nascent, a new corporate identity, and a new website!

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Nascent Health Sciences. We’re thrilled to have come this far, so in the spirit of blossoming — and strengthening our success over these years — we are excited to unveil our new corporate identity. The refresh of the Nascent brand is intended to better reflect who we are today, and communicate more of the services and offerings we provide to our partners and manufacturing customers as we look forward to the next ten years.

In addition to a complete redesign of the corporate website, we’ve got a brand new logo. The new logo juxtaposes two shapes: a green and blue colored leaf, and a red and yellow colored molecule. Its design is meant to reflect the intersection of technology and nature — because we, as a company, prioritize the study of alchemy in nature to inspire organic, sustainable, and safe development of ingredients that promote healthy living. The logo also incorporates primary colors to express an ethos of playfulness, approachability, and vibrancy. It is a reflection of how we deliver dedicated customer service and custom-designed ingredient solutions for each of our customer’s unique needs and formulation challenges.

Nascent Logo From Old to New

The company has changed a lot since its inception. We’ve seen the marketplace demand for non-GMO, responsibly-grown stevia blossom into global acceptance where stevia extract has become the plant-based sweetener of choice for food & beverage manufacturers. And although stevia has been a core offering for Nascent these 10 years, Nascent has significantly expanded its portfolio of ingredients and proprietary formulations. We’ve evolved into a full-service ingredient solutions provider, offering robust consulting services to provide end-to-end product planning and logistical support.

The new branding doesn’t affect our two category-leading ingredient brands, SoPure™ Stevia (our family of stevia products including Reb A, Reb D, Reb M) and PureQQ® Pyrroloquinoline Quinone. But in addition to SoPure™, Nascent’s natural sweeteners portfolio now includes sugar reduction offerings such as monk fruit extract, bulk sugar substitutes including allulose, erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol, proprietary sweetener blends, functional excipients including inulin, isomalto oligosaccharide, fructo oligosaccharide, xylo oligosaccharide, resistant dextrin, hydroxypropyl methlycellulose, and polydextrose, and proprietary natural flavors.

And in addition to PureQQ®, Nascent’s health supplements portfolio now includes ingredients to improve mitrochondrial health and cellular nutrition such as inositol, CoQ10, NMN, reservatrol, astaxanthin (or zeaxanthin), ALA, carnitine, choline, and natural caffeine, as well as supplemental vitamins biotin, B12, and ascorbic acid.

Our new website offers further details on these new ingredient portfolios, as well as our suite of added-value services for customers — such as consultation on product formulation, education and training support, and supply chain optimization. We hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about the new Nascent Health Sciences and join us in celebrating this important milestone. Cheers! 🍾

PQQ – A Powerful Dietary Ingredient for Cellular Energy

PQQ – A Powerful Dietary Ingredient for Cellular Energy

Formulas For Success is a monthly educational series from our leading formulation experts that covers the basics and fundamentals of trends in product formulation. Each month, we’ll be featuring an emerging ingredient or combination of ingredients and sharing the key tips you’ll need to discover your own formula for success.

If you’re not familiar with the essential nutrient PQQ, then you’re not alone. PQQ, or Pyrroloquinoline Quinone, is a rapidly emerging dietary ingredient which is found in nature in nano quantities, and is an essential micronutrient in living organisms. PQQ can be found in the cells of our bodies, where it protects and restores mitochondria for optimal cellular energy (ATP) production. It is a powerful antioxidant and stimulates growth and replication of the mitochondria. It also restores your nerve cells and nerve endings by enhancing the production of Nerve Growth Factor. These important roles that PQQ plays in cellular health and nutrition make it a necessary supplement for supporting a healthy brain and heart.

Formulating with PQQ

PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone) is available in 2 forms:

  • PQQ Disodium Salt – a water dispersible, reddish-brown, free-flowing powder
  • PQQ Acid – an oil soluble, reddish-brown, free flowing powder

PQQ Disodium Salt is very stable, has a 3 year shelf life, and can easily be incorporated into powdered drink mixes, tablets, capsules, chewables, effervescent tablets, candy, and gummies. PQQ Acid can be incorporated into oil based products like chocolates, softgels, and tinctures. PQQ Acid can also be emulsified for incorporation into ready-to-drink beverages and other water based foods and beverages. 

The recommended dosage for PQQ is 10 – 20mg per day. At this level, its slightly earthy taste can easily be masked in foods and beverages. Currently PQQ is available in the market as a stand alone dietary supplement, or in combination with synergistic ingredients like CoQ10. It is also available in powdered drink mixes and ready-to-drink beverages for sports nutrition. 

PQQ vs. COQ10

While PQQ may not be widely known, you’re likely familiar with its “cousin” ingredient CoQ10. But is PQQ a replacement for CoQ10? No!

PQQ and CoQ10 work side by side in the cells. In fact, you need both for maximum cellular energy production. They are powerful antioxidants, functioning independently, and have separate, unique functions which make them both essential.  The difference is that while the body produces CoQ10, you must obtain PQQ from your diet. So for many consumers, supplementing with PQQ is even more important.

PQQ and CoQ10 Short Term Memory Test Scores Graph
The benefits of PQQ in boosting short term memory are even more pronounced when paired with CoQ10

PQQ Formulation Example

Bars make for ideal product applications for energy ingredients. Adding PQQ into an energy bar is a great and delicious way to ensure consumption of the daily recommended PQQ. Adding a small amount to the bar does not affect the binding ability, taste, appearance, or shelf life. In the sample formulation below for an energy nut bar, our patented Vitamin E, which preserves the original α-tocopherol form for increased bioavailability, was added as a natural preservative for the oils in the bar. To keep the bar packed with energy but also healthy, SoPure Stevia Reb A and IMO syrup was applied to reduce the added sugar contents. All ingredients were blended with the hot binder in a mixer and rolled into a slab. A chocolate drizzle was added on top to provide an indulgent, tasty treat. This product was displayed at Supply Side West and met with wonderful feedback.

PQQ Formulation Solutions

Nascent Health Sciences supplies both PQQ Disodium Salt and PQQ Acid as stand-alone bulk ingredients which can easily be incorporated into a variety of applications. Nascent’s products are FDA Affirmed GRAS for food and beverage products.

Need the recipe for the energy nut bar? Or ready to create your own formula for success? If you’re interested in learning more about formulating with PQQ, contact one of our expert consultants for your product development and formulation needs!

Stevia + Erythritol = A Sweet Classic

Stevia + Erythritol = A Sweet Classic

Formulas For Success is a monthly educational series from our leading formulation experts that covers the basics and fundamentals of trends in product formulation. Each time we’ll be featuring an emerging ingredient or combination of ingredients and sharing the key tips you’ll need to discover your own formula for success.

Similar to allulose, erythritol is a favorite low-calorie sweetener choice for many food & beverage manufacturers, and is widely used in formulations together with stevia. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally occurring in fruits like grapes, peaches, pears and watermelons. It can also be found in mushrooms and fermented products such as beer, cheese, sake, soy sauce and wine. The typical process to produce erythritol involves using corn, enzymes, and a fermentation process. Our erythritol is strictly fermented from only non-genetically modified corn to meet the expectations of modern consumers for cleaner labels.

While erythritol is a sugar alcohol, it is distilled and produced in granulated and powdered form to replicate the form of table sugar and increase consumer adoption. When choosing erythritol for product formulation, especially in combination with stevia, it’s important to understand some of its key properties.

Properties of Erythritol

  • “Upfront” sweetener similar to allulose and sugar
  • Provides a sweetness level that is ~67.5% of sugar
  • Provides a sweetness level that is 9% higher than allulose
  • Less expensive compared to allulose
  • Non-caloric in nature (contains almost no calories)
  • Non-glycemic (will not spike blood sugar levels)
  • Heat stable (up to 160 F)
  • GRAS status by FDA
  • Non-carcinogenic
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Non-artificial (fermented) production process

Erythritol is an important tool in the food and beverage formulation arsenal due to its abundance of beneficial qualities. It provides a sweetness level that can largely replicate sugar and that is higher than that of allulose. Its heat-stable property makes it a favorable sugar replacement ingredient in baking applications. It’s non-caloric in nature and provides a path towards usage in keto/diabetic friendly applications. A particularly important consideration for many food & beverage makers is that erythritol is less expensive and more cost-effective than allulose. Finally, it has been granted “Generally Regarded as Safe” status by the United States FDA, permitting food and beverage formulators to utilize this ingredient in a wide variety of sugar reduction applications.

Erythritol Market Trends

In 2019, according to Innova Market Insights, erythritol accounted for 11% of food and beverage launches in US and Canada. It is more commonly used with stevia in North America compared to other sugar alcohols like maltitol and sorbitol, which are considered artificial due to the production process.

Erythritol vs. Other Sweeteners

The gastrointestinal impact of digesting erythritol is less than all other sugar alcohols and allulose, which provides a higher limit for formulation. The table below outlines how it compares to other bulk sweeteners in terms of production source, relative sweetness, calories and dosage limitations:

Bulk sweetener choices comparison table between allulose, erythritol, tagatose, xylitol and sorbitol

Formulation Example: Sugar Cookie Recipe

For demonstration purposes, we designed a test of erythritol vs. allulose in a sugar cookie formulation experiment. We created three batches of sugar cookies with each utilizing the same recipe, but one test version used only erythritol while the other test used only allulose. A traditional recipe utilizing sugar acted as the control for the experiment. All versions of the cookies baked at 350°F on the same tray for 13 minutes and rotated halfway through.

Erythritol vs. Allulose Sugar Cookie Test Results

The experiment yielded significant differences in the baking results. Both erythritol and allulose test cookies spread less than the traditional sugar cookie. The allulose test cookie browned more than the other recipes while the erythritol cookie didn’t show much browning. In our experiment, the two test cookies were 100% sweetened with either erythritol or allulose and both produced less than perfect results. Ultimately, what the demonstration showed was that in a true sugar-replacement scenario, such formulations require adjustments to the formula/recipe and baking process to account for the different properties of erythritol and allulose compared to sugar. We should also note that the levels we used in our experiment below may be above the GRAS levels, whereas a commercial formula would utilize a blend of both sweeteners to achieve a browning effect more similar to sugar.

Erythritol and Allulose Sugar Cookie Recipe (via sallysbakingaddiction.com)

Erythritol and Allulose Sugar Cookie Recipe Table

Erythritol Formulation Solutions

Nascent Health Sciences provides erythritol as a stand-alone ingredient or co-processed with stevia or monkfruit for various applications. Co-processing is vital for powdered applications as separation is likely to occur due to the particle size difference between erythritol and other powdered high-potency sweeteners. They are available as a direct 1:1 replacement for sugar, a 2X version, which is common for tabletop usage, and custom sweetness versions are also available upon request.

To read more about how erythritol complements stevia, visit our erythritol application support page

Need the recipe for the sugar cookie? Or ready to create your own formula for success? If you’re interested in learning more about formulating with erythritol and stevia, contact one of our expert consultants for your product development and formulation needs!

Nascent’s SoPure™ Stevia Attains FDA GRAS Status

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