Consumption nanotechnology is receiving much attention in the beverage industry. The technology allows manufacturers to infuse beverages with any oil-based functional ingredient (e.g. vitamins, CBD, THC) and improve its absorption.
Part of the reason for the accelerated development and deployment of these technologies has been to solve issues plaguing THC-infused products, but what is often not discussed is their application outside of the cannabis industry.
The first key reason why manufacturers use nano inputs is to ensure that an oil can be infused into a beverage without making the product cloudy or milky. The second, and arguably more exciting reason, to use this technology is for the improved absorption of the functional ingredient.
Improved absorption, also referred to as “enhanced bioavailability”, is a result of the incredibly small size of the functional ingredient particles after being processed using the technology. For example, an infused vitamin water that uses a nano input will allow the consumer to absorb far more of the vitamin than from a standard vitamin water – it enhances the bioavailability of the vitamin.
Enhanced bioavailability allows for further product differentiation in the functional beverage market. Vitamin and adaptogen-infused beverages stand to benefit from this technology, and CBD-infused beverages – already fairly popular where legal due to CBD not being psychoactive (it doesn’t affect your mental state like THC) – require the use of consumption nanotechnology to create a beverage that appeals to consumers.
Manufacturers and brands exploring these technologies should ensure that their R&D team or their technology partner has properly stress-tested the consumption nanotechnology being offered. Unstable inputs will cause the beverage to become cloudy and may result in a layer of oil on top of the beverage. When this happens, the nano input is no longer a nano input. It has lost the advantages of clarity and enhanced bioavailability.
Having said that, those with any plans to infuse a product with vitamins, CBD or other oil-based nutraceuticals should strongly consider exploring consumption nanotechnology to ensure that their product offering remains relevant.
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© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019