Formulating next-generation vitamin K2 products

By Kevin Robinson 25-Aug-2017

At this year’s Vitafoods Europe, Kappa Bioscience presented its new Formulation LookBook and introduced 15 new ExperienceCards with ready-to-market formulations to the nutraceutical industry. Dr Kevin Robinson spoke to Egil Greve, President and CEO, to find out more

As the company’s website reads, the doors of Vitafoods Europe 2017 have now closed. But, for three very successful days, Kappa brought a new vitamin K2 experience to the many attendees and marketers who visited their stand on the show floor.

Kappa’s ExperienceCard product development programme builds on the LookBook by creating physical product concepts that are ready for market adoption and launch.1

Each one was developed in collaboration with industry leaders, combining cutting-edge technology and/or co-ingredients with expert K2 formulation experience.

The ExperienceCard programme represents collaborations between Kappa and partners including BASF, Capsugel, GELITA, iNNutriGEL, Domaco, Gelpell and a number of associated contract manufacturers.

Each ExperienceCard concept represents a novel product formulation that is specifically designed to leverage the state-of-the-art technology of these industry leaders, solving an existing market problem or addressing a health segment or consumer group in a new way.

K2VITAL vitamin K2 MK-7 provides the central ingredient in each of the products, and the various partners provided synergistic co-ingredients, an innovative dosage form or manufacturing technology, or other elements that make these forward-looking products possible. Each ExperienceCard represents a successful collaboration and the combination of R&D, marketing and product management.

Egil emphasises the collaborative approach and how Kappa worked with its partners to bring on new concepts. “We wanted to bring something novel to Vitafoods, which was new to the industry. Our partners brought their technologies or fresh concepts to the table, such as an innovative softgel or a new type of capsule; and, by working with us, we’ve been given the opportunity to develop and combine some of those ideas and show how K2 can be used in different settings, such as in a new product formulation containing omega-3s,” he said.

“Many of these new ideas were generated by our partners; but, with our contribution, we’ve been able to deliver finished formulations and solutions that are ready for global product launch,” he added: “As such, instead of having to go through a long process of research and development, or having to source new technology to bring on new concepts, ingredients or formulations, we now have all that information in a format that’s readily available for customers to use.”

Reflecting on Vitafoods, Egil notes: “For marketers and product developers — and especially those visitors we met in Geneva — it’s been a huge success so far. People would come to the stand and explain that they had an idea or certain aspects of a project in place — such as ingredient X or technology Y — but wanted to know how they could take that concept further. We would invite them to on-stand presentations or show them the Concept or ExperienceCards, and explain how the different ingredients could work together to develop a specific project or idea, such as by using the new DUOCAP capsules from Capsugel, for example.”

“And, if they wanted to differentiate their product, reformulate their blend or aim for a specific health claim,” he says, “then we had a variety of solutions available. And, as some of the concept formulations have already been manufactured, we were able to demonstrate how they can increase their production speed and/or reduce their time-to-market.”

Outsourcing opportunities

“So, what’s new?” ponders Egil. “Last year, as you know, we started with the Formulation LookBook, in which we introduced more than 100 ready-to-use formulations wherein vitamin K2 plays a fundamental role. So, when a customer or client comes to us and asks where or how can I use K2 — or even where can I have it manufactured — we have that information, and that technology, readily available.”

“Contract manufacturers can use it when they need or want to attract new customers and develop new formulations, and marketers can take the Formulation LookBook to contract manufacturers who already have that formulation in their portfolio, which means they don’t have to go through the lengthy registration, development and test production process.”

“Now, we’re bringing new technologies to both marketers and to the consumer market,” he comments. “To do this, we’ve linked up with companies that are leaders in their field and have brought significant added value to our products.” In total, 15 ready-to-launch product concepts were developed and unveiled at Vitafoods Europe 2017.

“We’re not just a K2 or ingredient manufacturer; we’re more like a total solution provider to the industry, whereby we mix ingredients, blend formulations and can then test those formulations, so we can guarantee a certain level of performance for our customers.”

Familiar with fast-track development programmes in the pharmaceutical industry, I asked Egil whether this concept was something new and unique for nutraceutical and dietary supplement manufacturers. “Yes,” he said: “It was new to the industry last year and, this year, we’ve developed the idea even further. And, as yet, he adds, we’ve not seen anyone else providing the same service.”

“Particularly for contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs), it brings the ability to create new products. We’re going beyond simply being an ingredient supplier and promoting our K2 to becoming a facilitator — and providing a tool for CMOs to sell their competence, their solutions and their concepts to their customers in a completely new way,” he added.

When asked whether the ExperienceCards reflect the current direction of the industry, Egil believes they do; he feels that there’s a lot of new activity in the nutraceutical sector with companies targeting more specific solutions. “They’re not just looking at broad-application formulations; manufacturers are keen to incorporate quite specific health claims, which brings an added dimension to those customers who want to add value to their propositions,” he said.

What’s Next?

“We’ll continue to look at more ingredients — beyond K2 — and work to develop new platforms. We’re not a K2 manufacturer, we’re an ingredient supplier and our expertise is in the development of and synthesis of new and existing molecules,” notes Egil. “So, there are numerous projects on the table; we just have to pick the right ones from the many that are available and continue to pave the way forward for the nutraceutical sector. It’s a fascinating time right now and I feel there’s a lot more we can do for both manufacturers and consumers.”



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