Presented by George Nikolopoulos, Product Manager
Vitamins are a diverse group of chemicals essential for life, when eaten in small amounts in our diet. Of the 13 vitamins, four are fat-soluble and the rest are water soluble, in varying degrees. Although some have long chemical names, most have just letters for common names, such as A, C, E, etc. Natural and synthetic vitamins are widely used in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Vitamins must be consumed in the diet because most are not synthesized by the body in sufficient quantity to prevent deficiency diseases. Their functions in nutrition vary; some are co-enzymes, some are pre-cursors of enzymes, some are anti-oxidants, and some have functions that are not well understood. All are organic compounds, which differentiates them from essential trace minerals, such as calcium and iron.
Functional foods, which provide some health benefit, are a hot trend in food marketing and consumer interest. Some of these are natural foods, like fruits and vegetables, but most are fortified products, like juice drinks with added vitamin C. Two-thirds of the nation’s shoppers say they are eating more fortified foods.
The demand for vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies is growing exponentially as our population ages. A recent survey found that a majority of Americans regularly incorporate dietary supplements as part of their health care regimen, and that they do so for a variety of reasons.
In manufacturing, most vitamins are easy to work with, but others, especially in combinations or concentrated solutions, can pose mixing problems. Agglomerations of powders can plug spray nozzles commonly used to apply vitamin solutions to products. Non-uniform mixtures of oil and water-soluble vitamins can violate nutrition labeling compliance. Mineral sediments waste costly ingredients and affect dosages.
Admix provides effective solutions to these mixing challenges. Our Rotosolver high shear top mixer is widely used to disperse vitamin mixtures for direct application or spray drying. A Rotomixx low speed mixer can keep a batch of insoluble minerals in suspension in the holding tank to assure uniformity. Our VacuShear system can make batches quickly with no foam and minimum dissolved air to prevent oxidation.