In today’s world, increased awareness on the importance of maintaining overall health is leading to the mass adoption of natural supplements. The most sought after are antioxidants, as they protect our bodies from oxidation and free radicals, thereby preventing inflammation at a cellular level.
Carotenoids are yellow-orange pigments produced by plants and some algae that have shown to be beneficial due to their antioxidant properties. Of these, α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin are well researched to support cellular health, visual health, cardiovascular health and cognitive function.
Lutein & zeaxanthin can be found naturally in our diet, like in squash, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, corn, orange pepper & kale. However, there is a significant gap between the dietary intake and the clinically suggested intake of these carotenoids.
This has led to the popularity of supplements containing lutein & zeaxanthin, due to which the market is being flooded with several options. However, not all lutein & zeaxanthin products are alike. The following are some definite ways of choosing the best quality carotenoids for your product formulations.
- Give importance to supply chain traceability
The most commercially available lutein & zeaxanthin are obtained from marigold flowers of the Tagetes erecta species. Most of these are grown primarily in India & China, with small quantities grown in Mexico. However, the Indian climate is most suitable for growing high quality marigold flowers. To best optimize costs without compromising on the quality, ask for complete supply chain traceability. Prefer a manufacturer that has complete vertical integration of the supply chain. If this is not possible, ask for complete traceability from the marigold seeds to the finished product. Get to know the ingredient more; from where & how it is grown, soil quality of the growing regions, the use of pesticides & fertilizers as well as Good Agricultural & Collection Practices (GACP). Equally important is the efforts put in following sustainable farming practices and social responsibility towards the farmers and their families.
- Choose a clean-label product
Not all lutein & zeaxanthin products undergo the same manufacturing processes. Since their pure forms are quite unstable, lutein & zeaxanthin must be formulated using suitable carriers and excipients. It is in your best interest to look for 100% natural sources, where the carriers, stabilizers and excipients used are also natural. Further, since most commercially available lutein & zeaxanthin require to be extracted using solvents, do take care of the residual solvents contained within them. Ask for 3rd party validation reports from reputed labs for several batches to justify the manufacturers claim. The same goes for pesticides, plasticizers, aflatoxins, and allergens. Also look for 3rd party certifications, such as Non-GMO Project Verification, Kosher & Halal, ISO, HACCP & others to further strengthen the value of the product to the end-consumer. This will also give you the opportunity to cater to a wider regulatory & consumer landscape.
- Give importance to stability
An initial label claim on the color & active content alone is not sufficient while formulating products containing lutein & zeaxanthin. Due to their unstable nature, developing the formulation of lutein & zeaxanthin into useable, stable products is a generally a challenge. This endeavor requires years of research along with repeatability & reproducibility studies. Every step in the manufacturing process must be monitored meticulously with critical control plans in place. Formulation of lutein & zeaxanthin into stable products also increases the costs. However, from a long-term perspective, this provides more value to the product, increases the product’s integrity and in turn is more effective and valuable for the consumer. Therefore, it is advised to ask the manufacturer of lutein & zeaxanthin for stability data. If this data is also available for finished dosage formats, you need not look any further for a reliable source.
- Look for suitability in end product applications
With adoption of supplements across a wide age-group, some of the existing grades of lutein & zeaxanthin may not be suitable to develop end product applications catering to the younger demographic. Further, since formulation of pure lutein & zeaxanthin is required, this may impact its suitability in the end product application. An ideal partner would be able to suggest different grades of lutein & zeaxanthin for a wide range of product applications. For example, a water-soluble grade may be required for reconstitution in water. However, since lutein & zeaxanthin are hydrophobic actives, they may not be easily available in a water-soluble format. Having time-tested options of suitable grades and formats would certainly help in faster product launches due to reduction in development time at your lab.
- Look for evidence-based claims
An ideal lutein & zeaxanthin supplier would heavily invest in not only the safety of their products, but also on studies backing existing claims, with a strategy to continuously research unexplored areas for the betterment of the quality of life of people. The studies conducted must be as per international standards, preferably by an unbiased 3rd party organization. It is also preferred that the study design is vetted by 3rd party regulatory organizations in terms of relevance, statistical significance & potential claims. These would further mark a lot of confidence & trust in your consumer on a long-term basis and help build their permanent loyalty to your products.
Lute-gen® high quality Lutein from Bio-gen Extracts
Lute-gen® (Lutein Free & Lutein Ester) is derived from the Tagetes erecta species of marigold flowers under a unique seed-to-drum program in which the supply chain is vertically integrated, thereby offering complete traceability and transparency of the entire process.
Lute-gen® is Non-GMO Project Verified, solvent-free, pesticide-free, allergen-free, animal-free with Kosher & Halal certification. It is available in several grades, backed with stability data, including in finished product formulations.
Lute-gen® is also backed with studies in the areas of healthy cellular aging (telomere length protection), visual health & cognitive function, with a pipeline of several more studies to be conducted in the years to come.
Our latest technology platforms, ActiSperse & OptiBead, have also enabled the development of unique grades of Lute-gen® to cater to the dynamic & demanding consumer.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about Lute-gen® and discover how Bio-gen Extracts could be your partner for high quality Lutein. Know more here: https://www.bio-gen.in/product/lute-gen/
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