Britvic partners Xampla to develop vitamin microcapsules for fortifying beverages

UK – British producer of soft drinks Britvic has partnered with the University of Cambridge-backed technology company, Xampla, to develop vitamin microcapsules that enable beverage brands to micro package vitamins without the risk of degradation during transit and storage.

The natural technology contains a microscopic droplet of vitamin oil wrapped in a plant-based material to guard the vitamin, such as vitamin D, from ultra-violet light, pH imbalance, and pasteurization.

 According to Xampla, the vitamin microcapsules “increase the volume of effective vitamins without affecting the taste of the product”.

In addition, the technology can also be used to package any oil-based vitamin or flavoring, including vitamins A, D, E, or K.

Britvic started in 1845 as The British Vitamin Product Company, with a mission to provide customers with an affordable source of nutrition.

It has a long history of fortifying drinks with vitamins and Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, said the partnership will help the brand to do this even more effectively.

He added that Xampla’s microcapsules offer an opportunity for big beverage brands to get the vitamins people need directly to them inside everyday products.

He continued: “The trend for benefit-led products has been steadily growing over the last ten years. Young people and parents are particularly concerned with the health and wellbeing properties of their products, particularly in the post-Covid context and as we approach the colder months”.

“Our vitamin microcapsule provides a much-needed, simple solution for brands to micro package vitamin D safely in clear bottles and the potential to micro package a whole range of other nutrients in the future. We are working with multi-nationals to bring this product to supermarket shelves.”

packaging partnership

This is an extension of a partnership that the company behind popular soft drinks such as Fruit Shoot and 7Up, has been working with tech company Xampla to create greener packaging.

After 15 years of Cambridge research, Xampla said in February that it has developed the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use.

This material uses pea protein to make microscopic capsules that protect vitamins within a liquid, stopping them from being broken down by sunlight.

Xampla’s work has seen the company secure £1 million (US$0.99m) in funding from the UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate the UK, to scale up the technology and material processing.

Britvic’s research showed that people are 40 percent more likely to recycle clear bottles over colored ones.

However, according to Xampla, the downside of clear bottles is that they let more UV rays in, losing the necessary protection for vitamin D.

Sarah Webster, Director of Sustainable Business at Britvic commented at that time that  Xampla technology has the makings of a ‘win-win’, enabling delivery of greater nutritional value in the drinks people love while ensuring that more products can come to market in clear, recyclable bottles.

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