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Improving ingredients delivery

15-May-2003

US premix company Watson Foods has designed a new concept to showcase its edible film strips, a novel delivery system which could be applied to functional ingredients and vitamins.

The PEPPYmint strips, on display at Vitafoods this week, come in tiny plastic cases, containing 16mg of caffeine on a 1.5mm thick strip. The caffeine is locked into the film until consumption, when the strip dissolves on the tongue. A full range of flavours, colours and strip size are available to customers, according to Watson, who see potential applications in breath fresheners, caffeine strips or confectionery.

Watson started making speciality films 40 years ago for adding ingredients to baked foods. "We needed to come up with a way to avoid the serious reactions experienced by our employees handling the active ingredients," explained Walter Zackowitz, managing director of international sales at Watson Foods .

The company currently produces over 1 million pounds of film each year, but until now, has been unable to market the edible film as a delivery method for its customers. An investment of some $100,000 in packaging technology led to the development of the film strips.

"This is either going to die as a fad, or really catch on as a high-tech delivery system," said Zackowitz. "It is a very direct system, and with the new slow release technologies, it could be ideal for medication."

However he did add: "We're still a vitamins and premix company, but if we can deliver minerals this way, then that's a unique and novel method."

Watson is also showing its Edible Glitter concept, again derived from the film, which has been shredded and packaged for easy use.

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