Where do Vitamins and Minerals Come From?
Vitamins are organic substances (made by plants or animals). Minerals are inorganic elements from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Your body needs massive amounts of some minerals, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc are called trace minerals because you only need minimal amounts each day. Vitamins can be derived from food products or produced synthetically in a lab. Most multivitamins are made from synthetic vitamins, which are cheaper and easier to use than natural foods. There is no difference in the chemical structure between the synthetic form and naturally derived forms. To make a multivitamin, the vitamins and minerals are ground into a fine powder.
1. Select the Best Ingredients to Get the Job Done
The first step in manufacturing vitamins is to determine what substances and compounds the intended vitamin product will need to be composed of. This includes the vitamin themselves such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, and riboflavin. It also includes the substance or vehicle that binds the vitamin into a solid form. In liquid vitamins, this is usually a soft gel capsule- or the product can come in liquid form. Although, where dosing is a critical issue, liquid vitamins must be encapsulated. Reliable vitamin pills must utilize an internal binding agent to keep its shape and retain proper dosing.
2. Pre-Blend the Raw Materials
Next, raw materials need to be pre-blended. Raw materials usually arrive in the form of fine powder and may not need preliminary processing. In case the ingredients are not finely granulated, they are passed through a mill and ground. Some vitamins come pre-blended with a filler ingredient like microcrystalline cellulose or maltodextrin to produce a more even granule that simplifies the next processing steps. When working with new ingredients, laboratory technicians may make test batches to determine if pre-blending is necessary.
3. Weigh and Mix Vitamin Ingredients
When all the vitamin ingredients are ready, they are then transferred to the weigh station and weighed out on a scale. The required weights for each ingredient in the batch are listed in the formula batch record. After all the ingredients are weighed, the ingredients are placed into a mixer. Samples are taken from each set and tested in the laboratory. After mixing is complete, workers take the vitamin formula to either an encapsulating or a tablet-making machine.
4. Balance Encapsulation of Manufactured Vitamins
In addition to excellent ingredients, getting the right type of encapsulation is absolutely vital to vitamin enrichment success. There is great importance in getting the right balance between protection in the food matrix and breaking down in the gut. On the one hand, the material must protect the encapsulated vitamins and stop reactions and the product’s vitamins’ chemical breakdown. A lack of protection can negatively impact the vitamin’s bioavailability because there is less of it and can also cause off-flavors and other issues in the formulation.
However, vitamins must be able to break down in the digestive system and should not be so well protected that it passes through the body. There is a need for the right balance of coating that rapidly breaks down by the enzymes un the guy but offered strong protection from interactions in other situations – such during production and while the product may be sat on a shelf for several weeks or months.
Multivitamins usually contain additives that help in the manufacturing process or how it is used by the body. These additives may serve as fillers to provide the multivitamin either with bulk flow agents to help the powder mixture run through machinery or disintegration agents that help the pill break up after ingestion.
The powder mixture and the additives are run through machinery that either compresses them into tablets or encapsulates them in gelatin capsules. Many tablets are coated for various reasons, including changing the flavor, making the pill easier to swallow, or determining where (stomach or small intestine). How quickly (slowly over time or all at once) the tablet will be absorbed.
5. Polish and Inspect
The filled vitamin capsules are next run through a polishing machine. The vitamins are circulated on a belt through a series of soft brushes. Any excess dust or vitamin powder is removed from the exterior of the capsules by the bushes. The polished pills are then poured onto an inspection table. The inspection table has a belt of rotating rods. The vitamins fall in the grooves between the rods, and the vitamins rotate as the rods turn. Thus, all sides of the vitamin are visible for the inspector to see. The inspector removes any capsules that are too long, split, dimpled, or otherwise imperfect. The vitamins that pass inspection are then taken over to the packaging area.
6. Package Finished Vitamins
Packaging the vitamins takes several steps, and different machines carry out these steps. So in the packaging area, the vitamins pass through a row of machines. Once the vitamins are dumped in the hopper of the first machine, no human touches them. The worker sets the machine to count out the required number of capsules or tablets per bottle, and the rest is done automatically. The capsules or tablets fall into a bottle, and the bottle is passed to the next machine to be sealed, capped, labeled, and shrink-wrapped. The finished bottles are then set in boxes and are ready for distribution.
Alchemy Nutra is a private label supplement manufacturer. We focus on making unique products that have the correct amount of each ingredient so your customer can actually get the benefits you are marketing. Contact us today for a free quote to get started on your private label supplement today.