New capsule technologies provide brand-defining looks with improved functionality.

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

May 19, 2023

2 Min Read
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Capsules have always been a convenient way to hold bioactives and excipients so that consumers can easily swallow the goods.

Yet capsules continue to innovate to meet market demand—and to help brands differentiate in the market.

The first example that springs to mind is vegetarian capsules. Today, they are purchased by consumers far exceeding the number of straight-up vegetarians and vegans. Consumers just like the idea of plant-based capsules versus old-school bovine sources.

Newfangled capsules can help preserve nutrients beyond first-pass digestion, which improves functionality. Probiotic bacteria are targeted beneficiaries of such technology because the bacteria is notorious for being compromised by capsules and the digestive process. New capsule tech can improve probiotic survivability to 65 percent—impressive.

Other capsules can help expand the time before releasing nutrients. A supplement like melatonin is a great target for such technology because the melatonin can not just make a person fall asleep faster but with the melatonin on a timed-release situation, the melatonin can slowly release through the night, helping a consumer not just fall asleep but stay asleep through the night.

A great example of a supplement brand utilizing capsule technology to help identify and differentiate its message in the market is First Person, which won the 2023 Nexty award for best supplement of the year at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim.

Related:DRcaps® capsules: Designed to release when you need it – infographic

The brand features mushrooms for various elements of cognition including, some would say, as an adjunct to micro-dosing with psilocbin.

“First Person is a high end nootropic company doing it all in beadlets,” said Matt Redd, executive vice president of sales at Viva 5, a capsule innovator. They are taking a traditional capsule product and bring some new life into it and differentiate it in the market and make it stand out not just from an aesthetic standpoint with colors but they also bring new attributes to a product.”

Redd said the BB-size beadlets microencapsulate the bioactives in a lipid base, which also improves stability and bioavailability.

To investigate deeper, check out the video, above, between Natural Product Insider’s Todd Runestad and Redd, recorded at SupplySide East in Secaucus, NJ, on April 19.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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