The process of manufacturing water-soluble vitamins is no easy task. However, with the right supplement company such as BL Biolab, the process is extremely efficient. While there are many different ways to go about the process, every company must start somewhere. However, to manufacture quality private label supplements there are certain things which must never be overlooked.
Water-Soluble & Fat-Soluble Vitamins
The human body, whether it is a male or female, young or old, requires a multitude of nutrients to survive. In order to function properly, the body must have vitamins and minerals in its system at all times. Vitamins can be found in many different kinds of foods, although certain types of food are rich in specific vitamins. For example, leafy greens are full of vitamin A while oranges provide a lot of Vitamin C.
There are two kinds of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Vitamins that are fat-soluble are stored in the body for long periods of time whereas water-soluble vitamins are not easily stored in the body and have to be replenished on a regular basis.
Water-soluble vitamins (such as B and C) are not stored in their natural forms in the body, because they dissolve easily in water. These vitamins must constantly be replenished from foods containing them. This makes these vitamins more susceptible to disease-causing deficiencies than any other group of nutrients. Because of this danger, the efficient production of water-soluble vitamin supplements was developed over several decades. In addition, efficient methods exist for purifying water-soluble vitamins from plant sources—fruits and vegetables—and microbial fermentation processes are able to produce large quantities of B-vitamin complex at low costs. There are a few drawbacks associated with these processes that limit the stability and efficacy of the final product.
Water-Soluble Vitamin Storage
Water-soluble vitamins are organic substances or elements that have to be in soluble form. They are not stored in the body—you must ingest them. There are four major water-soluble vitamins: B1, B2, B6, and C. Due to this reason, these vitamins can become deficient very quickly when certain procedures halt their absorption into the digestive system. As a result, it is extremely important that sufficient amounts of water-soluble vitamins be consumed daily to avoid serious medical problems. The biggest risk with a water-soluble vitamins deficiency is the development of neural tube defects. The causes for this deficiency can be:
- restricted intake of certain foods,
- loss or destruction of the vitamins in the food we eat (over-cooking and processing),
- increased water loss from vegetables through cooking,
- and alcohol consumption which results in a decline of absorption by the body.
Microbial Fermentation Process
The production process for extracting vitamins starts with biomass material which can come from plant sources such as fruits and vegetables or microbial fermentation processes. The process draws out the required vitamin complexes either through chemical extraction or more recently using bioreactor systems. These systems are advantageous because they produce higher yields, thus saving money on expenses such as labor and energy costs. The drawback with this system is that it requires an increased concentration of biomass material. Chemical extraction methods are advantageous because they can be used to produce both water-soluble vitamins C and B complex. But chemical reactions required to extract each vitamin vary by compound, so it becomes difficult to control the equilibrium during processing.
Chemical Extraction for Water-Soluble Vitamins
Chemical extraction of water-soluble vitamins should use food-grade solvents that would not interfere with the final product or impact food safety. There are four main physical or chemical steps that go into chemical extraction:
- and washing.
Flocculation involves mixing the biomass with a chemical solvent. This causes large particles within the mixture to attach together, forming what is referred to as a “floc.” Precipitation is the mixing of the biomass and floc to form a solution with small particles within it called “slurry.” This slurry is then heated up, causing precipitation, which results in the chemical solvent being pushed away from the newly formed precipitate. Filtration removes solids that remain after the separation of water-soluble vitamins from biomass material by washing them off with either distilled or demineralized water. Lastly, the remaining crystals are dried out to achieve a reasonable purity level for storage purposes until the product is ready for packaging and distribution.
How Water-Soluble Vitamins Are Produced
Water-soluble vitamins can be produced in various ways. However, two main methods exist: hydrolysis and microbial fermentation. During hydrolysis, plant sources such as fruits and vegetables are chopped up and exposed to either hot water or organic solvents to extract different vitamins. The extracts from this process undergo further steps such as:
- and drying, which can be quite expensive.
Microbial fermentation is a much more cost-effective method because it only requires the use of microbial cultures vs. plant sources and exposure to harsh chemicals and solvents. During this process, microbes produce enzymes that break down the carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. These will then be fermented into vitamin supplements. Enzymes involved in this process include amylase for starch breakdown, cellulase for cellulose breakdown, xylanase for hemicellulose breakdowns and pectinase for a breakdown of pectic compounds.
Microbial fermentation can be carried out using either bacteria or fungi, but the current industry standard is to use bacteria because of cost-effectiveness. The use of bacteria is advantageous because they produce enzymes that are desired in lower quantities compared to fungi. However, they tend to produce unwanted byproducts, which must then undergo extensive purification steps before they can be used in the final product.
There are different types of water-soluble vitamins that generally can be classified into two groups. They are all essential nutrients for our bodies working together with macrominerals and microminerals in order to maintain normal metabolic processes within the body. Formerly known as vitamin B-complex, they include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7/H/S), and cobalamin (B12). They act as coenzymes within our bodies because their role is to help break down carbohydrates into glucose which acts as the body’s main source of energy.
There are six water-soluble vitamins found in natural food sources. However, only five are produced by chemical extraction.
Fat-soluble vitamins consist of four vitamins: A, D, E, and K. These are all stored within adipose tissue and the liver. This is why they are known as liposoluble vitamins. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, these ones need fat in order to function. Vitamins A, D, E, and K can all be found in egg yolk, fish oil, butter, lard, margarine, liver, and kidney. Note: only vitamin D is produced in humans through exposure to sunlight. And in actuality, it is a hormone rather than a vitamin.
BL Biolab: Vitamin Supplement Manufacturer
Today, global companies are constantly looking for partners that can help them to create new products and/or improve old ones. One company is rated highly in this field—BL Bio Lab. Not only have they managed to stay on top of the market for supplement trends, but they also offer one of the most affordable services on the market today. Although their prices are low compared to most other manufacturers, quality is always considered first.
Supplement manufacturing is not an easy process and companies need to go through plenty of research before they can even think about starting production. The next step is then to find a private label supplement manufacturer and work with them to create quality private label supplements for your business that you will be proud of. While many companies will be willing to take your money and produce any manner of product, you could end up with lower quality than the standards you set out to achieve.
Many people who are less experienced in the industry may be tempted to buy a private label stock supplement that everyone else is selling. But this is not always the best course of action. Sometimes, even a custom formula or blend can help set your business apart, because of the care and attention to detail. The GMP manufacturing process is quite detailed and ensure that quality is assured at each step of production.
Instead, it would be better to buy a custom-made supplement that will set you apart from the competition. BL Bio Lab has an in-house R&D team with a PHD lead formulator.
If you are interested in producing and distributing water-soluble supplements make sure to reach out today or contact us online.