Selling face mask, hand sanitisers under the brand Quarant, Jayant Specialities, which is also into the active pharmaceutical ingredient business, has launched its omega-3 and multivitamin chew under the name Quarant VitaChews.
The chews, which come in a jelly-like texture, contain fish oil EP and DHA, as well as vitamin A, B3, B6, B12, D, folic acid branded Quatrefolic, iodine, and biotin.
For a start, the firm has developed two SKUs for adult and children’s use.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia at Food Ingredients India (FI-India) held in Mumbai between August 17 to 19, Sagar J. Vaishnav, director at Jayant Specialities, said that the product was formulated in India which was made into a chew using a patented technology known as ConCordix owned by Norwegian firm Vitux.
The intention is to provide consumers with the required nutrients by only having to take one chew each day.
“VitaChew is our first nutraceutical product. Each chew contains nutrients at a higher payload than tablets and capsules, plus it comes with the taste of gummy.
“For example, in the current market, supplements that come in the gummy format usually contain 25mg of omega-3, but ours contain 300mg of total omega-3.
“A growing child needs 250mg of EPA and DHA as per WHO and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) recommendation and we are able to meet the requirement by providing an innovative product in a single chew,” he said.
Aside from 44mg of EPA and 222mg of DHA derived from anchovy, mackerel, and sardine fish oil concentrate, VitaChews for kids also contain 200µg of vitamin A, vitamin B3, B6, and E at seven mg, 0.70µg, and five mg respectively. Other micronutrients include 30µg iodine, 20µg biotin, five µg of vitamin D.
Its adult product contains a higher EPA level at 150mg and DHA at 100mg.
Since COVID-19, consumers’ knowledge of health and nutrition has increased, and more are taking preventive health measures, which is why the company has decided to venture into this space.
“Nutraceuticals is a growing business, and since COVID-19, people have become more knowledgeable about preventive measures.”
A box of 30 blister-packed chews is retailed at US$18 per box on e-commerce platforms Amazon India, 1Mg, Flipkart, PharmEasy and Nykaa.
Offline, the products are available via doctor’s prescription. However, the firm in on the search for distributor partners in retailing the products in pharmacies as well.
New products in the pipeline would include a 1,200mg pure omega-3 chew, as well as incorporating ashwagandha and astaxanthin into the chew format.
Comparison to capsules
The advantages of the chew, according to Vaishnav, is that nutrients could be better absorbed in the body as compared to capsules.
For example, he said that blood plasma of EPA and DHA in individuals taking VitaChew is 44 per cent higher than those who took capsules.
This is because the chewing process breaks down the product and makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients, he explained.
“Chewing aids digestion by activating the functions of the stomach and intestines and in turn helping to absorb the nutrients into the body.”
Moreover, the chews were designed to mirror the small oily droplets found on salmon, and this is also said to enhance omega-3 absorption.
User compliance of the chew is also found to be higher than gummies, based on a one-month consumer study conducted in the US.
According to the study conducted by Vitux, user compliance rate was 99 per cent for chews. In addition, 84 per cent of the consumers surveyed preferred chews to gummies, partly because the chews are made sugar-free.