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Gain valuable insights into the formulation, manufacturing processes, and regulatory landscape of ODTs, unlocking their role in enhancing convenience in the world of dietary supplements.
quick melt tablets, Orally Disintegrating Tablets in a blister pack

Orally Disintegrating Tablet: Efficient Supplement Delivery

No doubt you’re familiar with tablets as a dietary supplement delivery form, but what is an orally disintegrating tablet (ODT)?  

Unlike ordinary tablets, ODTs are formulated to dissolve or disintegrate in your mouth before swallowing. Sometimes ODTs are also referred to as fast-melts, quick-melts, or quick-dissolve tablets. 

In any case, there are some surprising benefits to the use of an ODT, and with some nutraceuticals, it can be a particularly effective way to take dietary supplements. 

Benefits of Orally Disintegrating Tablets 

Typically, after swallowing a tablet, it must undergo digestion in the stomach and small intestine to be broken down, and subsequently absorbed. An orally disintegrating tablet is different and offers the following advantages. 

Rapid Disintegration 

ODTs are formulated to quickly disintegrate in the mouth, generally less than one minute. Consequently, as the contents of the tablet mix with saliva, it becomes a semi-liquid form. Based upon published research on vitamin B12, this increased blood serum B12 levels in 90% of patients.[1]  

Ease of Consumption 

Some people have difficulty swallowing or are tired of taking so many pills. This “pill fatigue” has caused many consumers to seek alternative delivery forms for dietary supplements.[2] ODTs’ rapid dissolution into a semi-liquid form offers consumers a great alternative to swallowing standard tablets or capsules, with greater ease of consumption.  

Supplement businesses will want to highlight the convenience of ODTs, especially for individuals who have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules, as this could be considered a unique selling proposition that potentially nets you more sales.  

Improved Compliance 

The greater ease of consumption with ODTs can enhance supplement compliance. Not only is it unnecessary to swallow the pill in tablet or capsule form but given that an ODT starts to dissolve as soon as it contacts saliva, you can easily take it without needing beverages or food to push your pills down. 

Enhanced Bioavailability* 

Some research has demonstrated enhanced bioavailability with ODTs. One study found that when used in ODT form, vitamin B12 had good bioavailability, raising serum levels by as much as four-fold[3] 

A similar human study[4] also found that the ODT delivery form increased serum concentrations about three-fold. Good results were also seen with an ODT melatonin.[5] Other ODT nutraceuticals may also have good bioavailability. *It is important to note that nutrient absorption and bioavailability can vary based on factors including your overall health, age, life stage, diet, metabolism, stomach acidity, and gut health,  

Taste and Flavor Options 

Typically, ODTs are flavored and sweetened to enhance palatability and user enjoyment. Berry and citrus are popular flavor groups, although others are certainly possible. Likewise, there are different sweetening options, but sugar alcohols like mannitol and sorbitol are common and work well in ODTs.  


Supplements That Can Be Manufactured Using ODTs  

While a wide range of nutraceuticals can be utilized in ODTs, there are limitations. Remember that ODTs dissolve in the mouth, so the user will taste the content of the tablet. That means that nutraceuticals that are bitter or otherwise have undesirable tastes don’t tend to be good choices for ODTs.  

Also, ODTs tend to be smaller-sized tablets, so nutraceutical ingredients requiring a large dose (e.g., protein) are not good choices for this delivery form. Here are some options to consider: 

  • Most vitamins will work as ODTs if high doses aren’t used (e.g., 100 mg of vitamin C is okay, but 1,000 mg isn’t) 
  • Minerals provided in lower doses can be used (e.g., zinc, chromium, selenium, iodine), but minerals provided in higher doses aren’t good candidates (e.g., calcium, magnesium) 
  • Since most amino acids are used in higher doses, these aren’t good choices. Exceptions that will work are l-theanine and GABA (a peptide) at doses of 100 mg.  
  • Likewise, most herbs are poor choices for ODTs, but there are select standardized extracts that may work.  
  • Other “miscellaneous nutraceuticals” like coenzyme C10 and melatonin are good choices for ODTs.  

ODT Supplement Manufacturing Challenges  

As with any specialized supplement delivery form, manufacturing ODTs has a few challenges.  

First and foremost, your contract supplement manufacturer should have experience creating ODTs for other companies. Otherwise, they may find it difficult to properly formulate a tablet with quick oral disintegration. For example, if a tablet takes 10 minutes to dissolve in the mouth, that doesn’t make for an effective ODT. 

The good news is that ODTs can be manufactured on the same tablet press as regular tablets. It is the formulation rather than the equipment that makes the difference. ODTs don’t offer the same range of sizes and shapes as conventional tablets. ODTs tend to be round and limited in size since you don’t want a lot of semi-liquid material in your mouth after dissolution. 

As with any dietary supplement, choosing the right nutraceutical ingredients in the formulation makes all the difference between an effective and ineffective product. First, make sure any nutraceutical in the product is a quality material. Second, ensure it will work in an ODT (see “Supplements That Can Be Manufactured Using ODTs”). 

Although all dietary supplements should be tested and inspected to ensure product safety and consistency, special attention must be paid to the disintegration time with ODTs. Special lab equipment can test this with a high degree of accuracy. 

It is particularly important when marketing your ODT product that you use the correct terminology. Calling it an orally disintegrating tablet (ODT), a quick melt, fast melt, mini-lozenge, or dot is fine. However, calling it a sublingual tablet is not allowed. The FDA has indicated that the sublingual delivery form is exclusive to drugs. 

ODTs can be packaged in standard bottles or blister packs. Your supplement manufacturing company can help you determine which makes the most sense for your product. 


The Future of ODT Supplements  

The future of ODT Supplements is promising – especially among Millennials.[6] 

Specifically, the preference for alternative supplement formats is strong and greatest among the Millennial generation with significantly more Millennials (49%) than all older generations indicating they prefer to get their supplements in other forms besides conventional pills and capsules.  

Now, consider that Millennials were the largest generation group in the U.S. in 2022, with an estimated population of 72.24 million[7]. The sheer size of the Millennial generation makes it an opportune target for the supplement industry, and an ideal audience for the ODT delivery form. 


Vitaquest is a Trusted Manufacturer of Orally Disintegrating Tablets 

Since 1977, Vitaquest has provided nutraceutical companies with superior supplement manufacturing services. Today, we manufacture out of our three GMP-certified and USP-verified facilities in New Jersey, producing over 4,000 custom formulas for more than 500 brands. Our team has a proven track record in manufacturing orally disintegrating tablets (ODT) and providing best-in-class packaging design and fulfillment services to new and existing supplement businesses. 

If you’re looking to enhance your supplement line with a superior ODT product, call 800-526-9095 to connect with one of our experienced sales executives or request a competitive nutraceutical manufacturing price quote! 


Frequently Asked Questions  

Q: What are the properties of orally disintegrating tablets?  

Orally disintegrating tablets offer rapid dissolution, ease of consumption, improved compliance, optimized bioavailability, and the opportunity for taste and flavor options. 

Q: What Types of Supplements Can Be Found in ODT Form?  

There are a range of supplements including specific vitamins, minerals, some amino acids, select herbal extracts, and miscellaneous nutraceuticals such as coenzyme q10 and melatonin. 

Q: How Should ODT Supplements Be Taken?  

ODT supplements are easy to use. Just place a tablet in your mouth and it will dissolve in less than a minute. Then swallow. 

Q: Are ODTs Suitable for All Ages?  

ODTs are often used for younger children who have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules. Remember to consult a pediatrician or healthcare professional before giving any supplement to children, including ODTs. They can provide personalized advice based on the child’s specific needs and health conditions. 

 Q: How Do I Store ODT Supplements?  

ODT supplements are stored in the same way as conventional supplements: in a cool, dry place. 



[1] Libby AF, Starling CR, Josefson FH, Ward SA. The Junk Food Connection: A Study Reveals Alcohol and Drug Life Styles Adversely Affect Metabolism and Behavior. Orthomolecular Psychiatry 1982;11(2):116-127. 

[2] Schultz H. Pill fatigue is driving innovation in space between functional foods and supplements, experts say. November 20, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2019 from 

[3] Delpre G. Sublingual therapy for cobalamin deficiency as an alternative to oral and parenteral cobalamin Supplementation. Lancet. 1999;354:740-750. 

[4] Sharabi A, Cohen E, Sulkes J, Garty M. Replacement therapy for vitamin B12 deficiency: comparison between the sublingual and oral route. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Dec;56(6):635-8. 

[5] SaberMoghaddam M, Sheybani S, Bakhtiari E, Shakiba M. The Effect of Preoperative Sublingual Melatonin on Postoperative Pain Severity in Patients Undergoing Colorectal Surgery: A Triple-Blinded Randomized Trial. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2022 Aug 10;36:90.  

[6] Molyneaux M. Millennials drive growth in non-pill supplement forms. Natural Products Insider. May 9, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2024, from 

[7] Korhonen V. Resident population in the United States in 2022, by generation. Statista. August 29, 2023. Retrieved January 27, 2024 from,the%20population%20for%20many%20years. 

Rick Handel, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Vitaquest
Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations

Rick Handel is a 50-year veteran of the nutraceutical industry, with a strong background in formulation, R&D and GMP manufacturing of dietary supplements. Rick is celebrating 30 years with industry-leading supplement manufacturer Vitaquest International, where he currently serves as Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations. In that capacity, Rick is responsible for driving sales and innovation by identifying and developing new strategies, business opportunities, science-backed ingredients, and novel delivery technologies. Rick holds eight patents and has presented his published scientific papers and studies at conferences around the world.

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