Vegetarian Substitutes for Gelatin
The steady rise of vegetarian softgel manufacturing has been in response to changing consumer trends in the market. With more health awareness and environmental concerns emerging throughout the past decade, people around the world are searching for healthier options to accommodate their lifestyle, spending power, and nutrition. Vegetarian softgels meet this demand through advanced, stable manufacturing and ingredients that avoid the animal by-products of traditional softgels. With the right marketing and a key understanding of what vegetarian supplements can offer, distributors can take advantage of this growing market for consumers actively looking for alternative options.
The traditional process for producing gelatin involves boiling animal tissues and bones until they congeal into a gel-like substance. As such, many seemingly vegetarian items are rendered non-vegetarian by the inclusion of gelatin in their ingredients. Common examples include marshmallows, yogurt, candies, desserts and gel-capsules. Although vegetarian replacements cannot perfectly replicate the thickening and gelling properties of gelatin, products such as agar agar, red seaweed and vegetable gums provide you with a variety of close alternatives.
Unique Selling Points for Vegetarian Softgels
According to a recent study, 13% of the U.S. population identifies as vegetarian or vegan. Using plant-based technology, vegetarian softgels present a highly viable option for your brand and your market’s needs in a variety of sizes and color options. Premium vegetarian softgels demonstrate significant advantages over other nutritional supplement delivery forms including:
- No risk of animal-transmitted diseases
- Poligeenan Free
- Better thermal stability properties
- Less clumping
- Minimal deformation
- High bio-availability and absorption
- Meets international animal-free standards
- Suitable for shipment to zone 4 heat countries
- Easy export registration
A Variety of Vegetarian Alternatives
A common vegetarian alternative to gelatin is red seaweed. Commercial preparations of this gelling agent involve washing, boiling and filtering out the solid components of Irish moss seaweed. Red seaweed is obtained either through dehydrating the remaining liquid with alcohol or boiling until a gel is produced, then pressing and drying the gel to create red seaweed powder. Although you can use 1 ounce of red seaweed to gel 1 cup of a liquid, the thickness of the gel depends on the variety. Iota red seaweed is more suitable for softgels and puddings, while kappa red seaweed is a good replacement for gelatin in harder gel products.
Tapioca soft-gels offer the best specialized soft-gel technologies and solution for real human health due to the 100% vegetarian and non-animal sources.The appeal and potential for vegetarian products is rapidly expanding beyond the group of people who avoid animal products for ethical/personal reasons to include the much larger base of consumers seeking healthier, cleaner supplement labels. Tapioca vegetable soft-gels can replace gelatin in supplements, offering patented, 100% vegetarian, non-GMO Project Verified, non-animal materials.
One of the most common vegetarian alternatives to gelatin is agar agar. Production of this flavorless thickening agent involves cooking and pressing seaweed, typically until it reaches a powdered or flaked form. Although you can use either of these forms in place of gelatin, you should opt for powdered agar agar for best results. This is because powdered agar agar is a 1-to-1 replacement for gelatin. When using flaked agar agar, you should either grind it before cooking or use approximately three servings of flaked agar agar for every one serving of gelatin.
Vegetable gums are common ingredients in ice cream, chewing gum and gluten-free baked goods. Common examples include guar gum and xantham gum. Guar gum is commonly ground or flaked, dissolves in liquids easily and is a very effective thickening agent. However, its gelatin-like properties vary with its quality, temperature and pH. Xantham gum is more effective at increasing a liquid’s viscosity and retains this property at a broader temperature and pH range. Despite xantham’s higher stability, vegetable gums do not retain their gelling and thickening properties as well as gelatin and seaweed-derived alternatives.
Other vegetarian gelatin alternatives are neither as common nor as flexible as agar agar, red seaweed and vegetable gums. Pectin is produced by boiling, filtering and dehydrating fruits and fruit peels. Typically made with citrus fruit peels, pectin produces a soft gel and is a common ingredient in jellies, jams and marmalades. Another gelatin alternative commonly present in jellies is konjak. This yam-like plant is a central component of jelly candies and can be dried and pressed to produce a powder, known as konjak flour.
Icelandirect: The Leading Ingredient Source and Private Label Manufacturer
We source our ingredients from around the world emphasizing high product quality and consistency. Our softgels are produced in accordance with HACCP, GMP and ISO 9001 certifications.
Combined with a wide variety of soft-gel models to meet your specific size requirements including custom shapes and sizes, we are able to produce a softgel unique to your product and tailored to your market. We use state-of-the art facilities to monitor and analyze our raw materials. This ensures that our softgels exceed international pharmaceutical standards. We offer products that are developed, produced, and documented based on FDA approved quality processes and standards. Working with us, you can be confident that the quality parameters of the original ingredients are maintained in your finished soft gel product.
Icelandirect provides quality private-label packaging for softgels in plastic bottles, blister packs or pouches. We provide a high level of customer care and extremely competitive pricing for private label retailers and contract manufacturers all over the United States.
We’re strongly committed to providing customers with green, eco-friendly, sustainable packaging. Our fully-green option gives clients a strong marketing advantage with environmentally-conscious consumers.
We have exemplified unparalleled excellence within the world of contract packaging. In our own facilities, located in Clifton and East Rutherford, New Jersey, we provide a wide array of manufacturing services designed to fit the diverse needs of multi-sized corporations nationwide. We’re known for our extraordinary ability to solve manufacturing problems and provide real solutions no matter what the nature and extent of the project. Our experience and expertise runs deep. Our commitment to quality, integrity, and our clients’ success is stronger than ever.
Our fundamental mission is to furnish our clients with an end-product of unparalleled quality and excellence with the added promise that “no job is ever too big or small.” Whether your company is well established and recognized or in its start-up phase, Icelandirect welcomes the challenge to step up to the plate and dedicate its state-of-the-art manufacturing and production resources to fulfill the packaging needs of your company and its contact packaging projects.
As a valued strategic partner, we offer a comprehensive program of services, turnkey solutions, and client support that is unmatched in the industry. Our product development team can provide customized, proprietary formulations designed specifically to meet the needs of our customers and their method of distribution. Our vertically integrated manufacturing and packaging process allows us to schedule flexible production runs to respond quickly to shifting market demands. Every step of the way, we are committed to your growth and success!
Contact us today to develop a superior product and get it to market quickly, efficiently and at the best possible cost.
(800) 763-4690 Ext 2