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The Three Things to Know about Organic Supplements

Buckle in for a bumpy ride if you want to offer organic supplements because the road to get there may not be smooth. Consumers looking to support their healthy lifestyle by eating organic are increasingly seeking organic supplements. And they are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. In fact, growth in organic supplements has recently outpaced that of non-organic supplements by over 75% per year.

What Does “Certified Organic” Mean?

USDA oversees the National Organic Program, and they allow for three tiers of certified organic supplements, based on their organic content:

  • 100% Organic – The top tier is for products that are produced in organic-certified facilities using only organic ingredients. Products can carry the “USDA Organic” seal and “100% Organic” label claim.
  • USDA Organic – Products contain at least 95% organic content, and are eligible for the “USDA Organic” seal.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients – Products contain at least 70% organic content, cannot carry the “USDA Organic” seal, and only limited organic language is allowed on labels.

Organic powdered products like drink mixes and protein powders are by far the most common at all three tiers, and are readily available. The challenge for custom supplement manufacturers and marketers is with solid dosage forms (capsules and tablets).

Organic Capsules vs Organic Tablets

Organic capsule products cannot carry the USDA Organic seal because, although organic gelatin can be produced, there are no organic capsule shells available on the market. As a result, the weight of the capsule shells must be subtracted from the total organic content of the product. Organic-certified capsule products can only be produced at the lowest “Made with Organic Ingredients” tier.

Meanwhile, organic tablet products are rarely seen, for three reasons.

  • The typical non-active components of tablets (excipients) are simply not allowed in organic products.
  • It takes a high level of manufacturing expertise and specialized equipment to make stable and robust tablets from finicky organic actives and excipients.
  • Each organic ingredient can behave differently on the tablet press, requiring innovative approaches to formulation and development of each new product.

However, at Vitaquest, we do have VQ-developed organic tablet technology that can help improve the possibility of organic tablet manufacturing.

Your Organic Manufacturing Partner

If you are dealing with a contract manufacturer who doesn’t know the road, you will hit more than a few bumps. With more than four decades of experience and expertise, Vitaquest can offer you a smooth ride to producing your own unique organic supplement.

As Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Rick Handel explains, “Vitaquest doesn’t have a catalog of stock products because we customize every product to meet each customer’s requirements. And we have the expertise, the specialized equipment, and the fully organic-certified GMP facilities needed to manufacture difficult organic products with excellence.”

So, if you’re a marketer with an idea for an organic supplement and want a collaboration partner who can design a custom product for you, contact Rick to discuss how Vitaquest can put their organic expertise to work for you.

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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