Vegan Softgels: How Are They Made?
Vegan Softgel Capsule Ingredients
Softgels. The smooth squishy pill shaped capsules that contain supplements, vitamins, and medicines. If you’ve ever taken fish oil, it was probably in a softgel. This is the most convenient and reliable way to ingest a consistent dose of a medicine or supplement in liquid form. For CBD Oils, softgels provide a premeasured and reliable dose so consumers can avoid tincture droppers or edible candies.
It is important to note however, that softgels can be made out of multiple different substances. Although you probably know what is inside the shell (vitamin D oil, CBD oil etc.), do you know the chemical makeup of the shell itself?
Most softgels on the market today are made with gelatin. Gelatin is a very common gelling agent used in countless food products such as gummy candies, yogurt, and ice cream. It is also used in cosmetics and medications. Gelatin is derived from collagen, which is derived from animal skin and bones. People who consume a vegetarian or vegan diet cannot consume gelatin softgels, so other products have been developed to meet the dietary needs of all people.
A popular vegan alternative to gelatin for softgels and beyond, is a compound called carrageenan. Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and is used to improve the texture of alternative milks and soy based products to name a few. Many vegetarian or vegan softgels use carrageenan to make the shell. However, there is concern and controversy over a possible link between carrageenan and intestinal inflammation.
A 2017 review published in Frontiers in Pediatrics indicated that studies on guinea pigs and rats with degraded (non-food grade) carrageenan have resulted in ulcerations in the intestines. The review concluded that, “these animal studies have led to the hypothesis that food emulsifiers such as carrageenan may act as a conditional inflammatory agent that magnifies any existing chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract provoked by pathogens.”
Amid the controversy and concerns surrounding carrageenan, and its use in vegan softgels, Kazmira has taken the initiative to offer a better alternative. Our vegan CBD softgels are made with tapioca. Yes, the same tapioca that is used in bubble tea and tapioca pudding. It is a starch derived from the root of the cassava plant, and has similar gelling properties to that of gelatin and carrageenan. It is almost pure starch, meaning it contains carbohydrates and nothing else. It is also vegan and gluten free. A few studies indicate it may promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria.
At Kazmira, we want to produce products that meet the dietary needs of everyone. Making sure our products are formulated with ingredients that are unquestionably safe is of paramount importance. That is why we offer tapioca softgels. Now as an educated consumer, you know what constitutes the make-up of your CBD softgels or other dietary supplements!