Optimizing Ingredients

Masking the Off Taste and Odor of Glutathione While Increasing Bioavailability

Glutathione is known as the master antioxidant that promotes immune health. Beyond protecting humans from oxidative damage, it has anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties and helps every cell in our body grow and repair. Under stressful situations like sleep deprivation and poor diet, for example, Glutathione levels are typically low and supplemental amounts are needed to meet the body’s requirements.

But Glutathione is also a sulfur-containing compound that tastes and smells like rotten eggs. Recently we were engaged by a formulator at a prominent health and wellness company to mask these “off” notes. The company had been using two-piece capsules as a delivery system, but consumers complained of disgusting sulfur burps after swallowing them. Given that the demand for the antioxidant had spiked during COVID, they needed to ramp up sales and protect market share by finding a solution fast.

Our team at Maxx was confident that we could use our microencapsulation technology to overcome these challenges. First, we requested a 2-kilogram sample of Glutathione from the formulator. Their sample arrived the next day, and we immediately conducted a pilot. Two days later, we sent back a coated, slow-release taste-and-odor-masked version. Not surprisingly, the formulator called to say that they loved the texture, and the product had no odor; they were ready to incorporate our Glutathione into their capsules.

Three weeks later, the formulator informed us that customers who consumed our coated Glutathione experienced no sulfur burps at all—and that the company could use even less of our slow-release Glutathione to meet requirements. In other words, not only did we overcome Glutathione’s rotten egg taste and odor, but our technology also increased its bioavailability. And ultimately, we were asked to produce a 2,000-kilogram supply to keep their supplement selling well.

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