We spend a lot of time talking about our ingredients and telling their stories. We can’t help ourselves; we’re obsessed. What our vitamins are and how they work together in your body are what make Ritual Essential for Women so groundbreaking. But there’s another part of the story, too: How those ingredients are delivered. For starters, we wanted to make sure that all our nutrients reached the intestines intact and ready to be absorbed. To make this happen, we chose DR Caps, which are special non-GMO vegan gastric-resistant capsules that can withstand stomach acid. We also knew we wanted to keep fat-soluble nutrients in oil separated from water-soluble nutrients in beadlets to reduce interactions and keep them in their original forms. The problem was, of course, that oil and water don't mix. And that’s where Capsugel came in. They had a beadlet-in-oil technology that solved the absorption conundrum. The form was visually beautiful and transparent, but it also served an equal if not greater purpose. The ingredients were kept in their original state so they could be better utilized by the body. A true leader in the clean-label space, Capsugel worked closely with us to create the first ever beadlet-in-oil multiple vitamin-mineral. We couldn’t be more excited with the outcome, so we wanted to take a minute and introduce you to the company that helped us make our idea a reality. Here, we spoke with Gabriel McCutchen, Capsugel’s Director of Manufacturing, about the project and how it all came together. We wanted to include all of our ingredients (wet and dry) into one simple, effective format.
Tell us a little about Capsugel.
Capsugel is the world’s leading hard capsule manufacturing company. Because we had such a large part of the market already, in the mid-1990s our CEO launched a project to innovate and diversify. As part of this, he took an existing technology that we’d developed for a powder form technology and translated that to a liquid-filled capsule. It was incredibly groundbreaking.
And what were the advantages of a liquid-filled capsule?
There’s widespread evidence in the marketplace that liquids are more easily absorbed and digested than powders because the body doesn’t have to work to break the liquid down.
We’d love to hear more about your experiences building the Ritual product.
As we see it, what Ritual’s doing is the closest to true personalization as is possible right now. So that’s very exciting. We liked that they’re utilizing all clean-label technology to create a top-quality product, and also bead-in-liquid technology to allow some release control. In terms of the collaboration, Ritual’s founder Kat really knew what she wanted and had a very good understanding of the technology, so it was our responsibility and our place on the team to really listen and then translate her vision into the finished product. This meant making sure that everything we did had full traceability, which is something we’re passionate about, but that we’re not often asked to do.
You also test the products in-house, correct?
We then applied our own testing, which is world-class. We are regulated by the FDA and have chosen to have certifications that put our products at pharmaceutical standards. I think it’s telling that we’ve had the FDA at our facility numerous times and have always been reviewed with flying colors. Even so, what we can say about Ritual is that the standard they hold themselves to is unsurpassed.
For you, what were some of the most interesting features of this project?
This was one of the first clean-label beads that we ever went into process with. So it was very different from other products. We had to make sure that all the ingredients we used were as natural as possible. It was also the first time we combined delayed-release capsules in liquid. The prospect of combining something designed to be released exactly where and when it would be most effective (the beadlet) with a format that ensures the best absorbability (the liquid capsule) felt really groundbreaking.