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Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for our body. Especially two omega-3 fatty acids are significant for the body, these are the marine omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid EPA and docosahexaenoic acid DHA, which can be found in algae, small saltwater crabs, and mainly in fish. They have a structural function since they are the basic components of the cell walls of all the cells in a body, and also of the membranes inside each cell. Especially the brain, eyes, and the heart muscle incorporate a lot of the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. They are essential for function and physical health of these important organs. Another aspect, which renders them essential for our body, is the fact that the body converts them into anti-inflammatory messengers. Thus they protect us from many diseases associated with inflammatory response as, for example, arteriosclerosis. However, the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA gradually disappear from our menu. The omega-3 egg, which is the result of chicken being fed on a diet of algae and fish meal, has only a negligible market share. Inner organs, rich in DHA, such as beef brain are no longer on the menu and that for a good reason. Even our most important source of EPA and DHA, the fish is mainly bred in fish farms nowadays and no longer a wildcaught fish. But fish do not actually produce EPA and DHA, they absorb them with their diet just like humans, and they live on small fish, crabs, and plankton. Farmed fish, however, nowadays are fed on a diet as cheap as possible, which is usually low in omega-3 fatty acids, and therefore they provide much less EPA and DHA than before.
There is hardly a lack of vegetable omega-3 fatty acids since they are usually quite common and widespread. The newest scientific findings reveal that the conversion of the vegetable omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) into EPA and DHA is possible, but is by far not sufficient to cover the daily needs of EPA and DHA. This is the reason why we have to watch our EPA and DHA supply. Chewable capsules are an innovative and convenient way to take care of this problem.
Chewable capsules are an advanced form of the classic softgel capsules. Its special production technique results in very special characteristics and qualities from which all target groups benefit, from children to demanding adults, and even elderly people with swallowing difficulties, typical for their age. This applies mainly to the application of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are invaluable for the diet, but every now and then they may be rejected by sensitive people due to their oily consistency.
Children and juveniles mainly care about look and taste. Chewable capsules can be produced in any desired color. We recommend mainly mineral and natural food colorants. The capsule shell as well as the soft, paste-like filling may also be flavored. When a capsule is put in the mouth the flavored shell of the capsule creates an instant delicious taste. Afterwards, when the capsule is chewed, the soft filling offers a well-balanced taste of sweet and sour, and creates a feeling that is similar to chewing candy with soft gel-like fillings. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are incorporated in the filling in a special form of highly concentrated omega-3 (e.g. EPAX TGN concentrate, whereby N stands for neutral aroma and taste). With children this definitely increases their willingness to take their daily dosage, just remember the option of the daily spoonful of cod liver oil in the old days. Basically there is no limit to the flavor variety. However, with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, the citrus fruit and wild berry flavors proved to be especially pleasant and balanced. The consistency of the paste is also pleasant and cannot be compared to the pure oil. There is also a wide variety of sweeteners possible, even the trendy steviol glycosides may be used. Chewable capsules may largely be produced as “Clean Label” products if required, so there are no synthetic sweeteners, colorants, or aromas added, which is quite appealing when it comes to chewable capsules for children.
Consequently chewable capsules are an ideal opportunity to ensure the daily supply of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA for children. As children and juveniles eat only little or no fish this is of vital importance for their development.
The advantage for busy adults is that they can take their capsules on the road without any water, just like a piece of chewing gum. Thus the chewable capsule is a very convenient form of omega-3fatty acid supplements. It is small and can be put in a pill box and taken along in any purse or briefcase. It can be taken anywhere, there is no need for a glass of water. Similar to the sticks with easy to swallow powder or granulate, the capsules have been designed for a modern, dynamic and spontaneous lifestyle. In case of chewable capsules the bigger capsule sizes are no problem, since there is no need to swallow the chewable capsules as a whole in contrast to the normal softgel capsules.
The complete filling for a bigger chewable capsule with paste-like filling with 20 minims oval is about 1150 mg, whereby the oil content may be about 430 mg, which is nearly 40%. The popular health claims for the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA for brain, eyes, and heart can easily be met with two chewable capsules per day, at a capsule size of 13-15 minims oval.
Older people quite often have swallowing problems. This is a known fact with almost 50 percent of all people over 75 years and often starts long before this age. The swallowing problems may have various causes, from injuries to inflammations in mouth and throat, poorly fitting dentures or dryness of the mucous membrane of the mouth, up to thyroid diseases, and neurological or mental problems. It is quite hard for these people to swallow normal sized and especially bigger sized capsules, however, in this group a sufficient supply of nutrients is even more important, since these people normally eat less anyway as a result of their swallowing difficulties. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are essential for older people as they support the heart, eyesight, as well as the mental health. The chewable capsules may be the perfect solution. There is no need to swallow them as a whole but their soft shell can easily be chewed.
All together the chewable capsules are an innovative, first-class, modern, and convenient solution for many people to get their supply of essential nutrients and thus contribute to their health. Chewable capsules enable the companies to address a wide range of target groups, which were not able to use supplements in any other form due to their limitations, or used these supplement only sporadically. In addition to the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA other taste challenging ingredients, such as green tea extract and Zinc compounds may also be perfectly masked in these capsules. Chewable capsules are easy to eat and also surprise with an amazing flavor. In addition to the functionality the emotionality, in other words the “Fun Factor” is also a crucial aspect for a successful product in a consumers’ market.
is Manager of Product Development in the Goerlich Pharma GmbH. She is a graduate of the Technical University Munich, in the field of food chemistry, and will soon complete her doctor’s degree at the University Innsbruck on the subject of anti-inflammatory and natural immunomodulators. During this time she participated in numerous international conventions on this subject, one of them was the Symposium DNTI – Drugs from Nature Targeting Inflammation.