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Galenic innovation: the importance of combining effectiveness and pleasure in food supplements

Galenic pertains to the presentation of a product and how its ingredients are formulated. Its main objective is to optimise the effectiveness of the formula by promoting optimal absorption of its compounds of interest. But it doesn’t stop there… The food supplement market has what it takes to reimagine galenic formulations in more sensory and appealing forms. Beyond a quest for innovation, the goal is to enhance the consumer’s experience and encourage them to complete their treatment. Let’s delve into these formulations that provide a boost to adhering to the treatment.

Galenic formulations for effective results

Galenic formulation takes its name from Claude Galien, the father of modern medicine and pharmacology1. It focuses on the properties of the key active ingredients in a formula, their dosage, and the most suitable way to administer them to ensure effective absorption in the body.

Dynamic and competitive, the food supplement market seems eager to embrace galenic formulation as a differentiation vector. Notably, 63% of French consumers state that the product format is a decisive factor in their purchasing decisions, according to the latest Synadiet observatory survey conducted in 20232.

Optimised release for enhanced bioavailability

The effectiveness of a finished product is based on the proper absorption of its active compounds. Whether they are water-soluble, fat-soluble, sensitive, in powder form, living or inert, the ingredients of a formula may have characteristics that require careful consideration of the appropriate galenic approach.

For instance, consider a sublingual spray recently developed by an Italian developer. Its patented nano-emulsion technology enables the solubilisation of lipophilic molecules insoluble in aqueous solutions, thereby improving the bioavailability of otherwise challenging-to-absorb molecules.

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E are excellent candidates for such a process. Not to mention, key ingredients in successful categories, such as melatonin for sleep or coenzyme Q10 for IN-Out beauty (evaluated as a “high-growth” category with +5.1% growth posted between 2018 and 2023, according to a study on 2024 marketing trends3).

Some CDMOs also offer three-layer tablets, an innovative galenic approach that enhances product performance. By layering ingredients through successive compression, this format allows the separation of incompatible compounds and their controlled release at different locations in the gastrointestinal tract.

Acacia gum, a perfectly suited excipient for buccal administration

Some excipients also play an important role in the action and effectiveness of a formula. One can think of acacia gum (we have dedicated a complete article to it here4). This resin extracted from the Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. tree is not only a fibre with multiple nutritional properties but also a gelling agent perfectly suited for galenic forms like “suck gums.”

Its melting texture allows the gum to stay in the mouth for an extended period, thereby enabling the continuous diffusion of active ingredients into the buccal mucosa5.

Used for a long time in the pharmaceutical industry (an iconic example being the Euphon throat lozenger6), acacia gum is now making its way into the dietary supplement market.

For example, Cooper Laboratories turned to this natural texturiser for its product Collugomme Gorge irritée, launched in 20237. The acacia gum, also known as gum arabic, in Collugomme lozengers promotes the release of essential oils from eucalyptus and peppermint, forming a protective film that relieves irritated throats.

Lehning Laboratories also opted for acacia gum as an excipient for their “Pâtes suisses,” a range of nine sugar-free gummies, including one with vitamin D3, known for its lipophilic nature. The slow dissolution of these acacia gum-based lozenges is particularly advantageous for liposoluble compounds, as studies have shown that the more lipophilic a molecule is, the higher its transbuccal penetration capacity (Beckett and Moffat, 1971, 1969, 1968,9,10).

Galenic formulations for enhanced consumption pleasure

Breaking away from “pharmaceutical codes” marks a turning point for many players in the food supplement sector, leading to the emergence of fun, enjoyable, and even gourmet galenic forms. The goal is clear: make the consumption of food supplements more enjoyable to improve adherence and, consequently, support the effectiveness of the treatment (and ultimately, repeat purchasing).

The “pleasure” promise: a primary axis of food innovation

The World Food Innovation Barometer, a study conducted in 2023 by the Protéines XTC consultancy firm, reveals that pleasure remains the main driver of innovation with the potential to meet consumer expectations11. These expectations are segmented by XTC along five axes: pleasure, health, ethics, form, and practicality. The pleasure axis includes “variety of senses,” “sophistication,” “exoticism,” and “fun.” This is an undeniable source of inspiration for the nutraceutical sector, strengthening its ties with the food market by paying more attention to the “sensoriality” of its solutions.

Stimulating senses and curiosity

Making the consumption experience enjoyable with a hint of “come back for more” is the challenge to meet. Food supplements increasingly allows itself to appeal to consumer’s senses.

Starting with sight: many galenic innovations carefully take care of their physical appearance – consider, for example, UPSA x Nourished gummies – which stand out with their multi-coloured layers, each corresponding to a specific ingredient12.

Some developers are even beginning to explore the sense of smell, a crucial parameter in emotional perception and product memorisation, well-known mechanisms in the world of perfume. In line with this, a CDMO plans to launch scented capsules in 2024.

Some ingredient suppliers also exploit this olfactory and sensory dimension. For example, in 2022, an anti-stress active ingredient was launched, using the retro-nasal route to act on brain areas involved in managing emotions.

More specifically, hearing can also contribute to enhancing the consumer experience. Pullmoll’s “Les Bienveillants” claim to provide an “enhanced experience” with free audio sophrology exercises offered with the purchase of a box of Relaxation gummies.13

Taste above all

Unsurprisingly, taste remains the most worked-on sense to transform a food supplements treatment into a gustatory and nutritional experience. Young brands like Nonna Lab have embraced the relatively underexplored idea in Europe but already well-established in the United States14: “combining pleasure and health” by offering nutraceutical ingredients in a food matrix. Nonna Lab, presenting itself as a Foodceutic laboratory, opted for a chocolate ball, justifying that “the French consume an average of 7 kg of chocolate per year,” and “one out of every two people does not complete their food supplements treatment.”15

In the United States, a company has developed a patented freeze drying  technology that allows it to offer a “100% fruit delivery system”, a galenic form composed solely of freeze dried fruit purees to which nutraceutical ingredients can be added (without risking alteration). The experience aims to be both tastefully enjoyable and clean-label: these fruit bites contain no added sugar or flavour, colouring, and are almost calorie-free (except for those naturally present in the fruits).

Nutrition, quality, and safety: indispensable pillars

Galenic innovation in nutraceuticals sometimes comes at the expense of the nutritional and qualitative aspects of the formulations. Hence, it is crucial for these stakeholders to demonstrate that the novelty of their solutions does not compromise their quality.

Chocolate pearls from Nonna Lab are Botani+ validated, an approved botanical quality trademark.

For instance, the chocolate pearls from Nonna Lab are Botani+ validated, a quality brand that assures consumers that the formulas are safe and effective (with plant-based ingredients having successfully passed a set of phytochemical controls)16.

Discover Botani+. An approved botanical quality trademark.

Embark your consumers on an unforgettable sensory journey! BOTANI BRANDS puts its expertise at your service through a team of experienced experts, specialised in natural ingredients and product development. From defining the formula to creating a distinctive galenic form, we can manage your project from A to Z.

Our goal is clear: to build a solution that offers a unique consumer experience, with no compromises on quality or formula effectiveness.

Many brands have already trusted BOTANI BRANDS in their quest for galenic and sensory innovation. To benefit from our expertise, feel free to contact us!

Trust us and get in touch to discuss your project

“It is always necessary to know the limits of what is possible. Not to stop, but to attempt the impossible under the best conditions.”

Romain Gary


  1. Galien, Galen, the true father of medicine – Véronique Boudon
  2. 2023 Barometer of dietary supplement consumption in France – Toluna Harris Interactive
  3. Nutraceutical market trends for 2024insights by PharmaLinea & IQVIA
  4. Acacia Gum and Gummies: The Story of a Beautiful Encounter
  5. Medication Absorption – Oral Administration
  6. Euphon medication based on acacia gum
  7. Collugomme from Laboratoire Cooper – acacia gum lozenges for sore throat
  8. Beckett, A.H., Moffat, A.C., 1968. The influence of alkyl substitution in acids on their performance in the buccal absorption test. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 20, Suppl:239S+.
  9. Beckett, A.H., Moffat, A.C., 1969. Correlation of partition coefficients in n-heptane-aqueous systems with buccal absorption data for a series of amines and acids. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 21, Suppl:144S+.
  10. Beckett, A.H., Moffat, A.C., 1971. The buccal absorption of some barbiturates. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 23, 15–18
  11. 2023 global food innovation barometer –
  12. UPSA x Nourished – 7 layers of well-being
  13. Auditory stimulation with free sophrology audio exercises by Pulmoll
  14. Market Study by Botani Brands – food and nutraceuticals: at the intersection of two worlds
  15. Chocolate pearls Nonna Choc from Nonna Lab
  16. Botani+, Quality brand for plant-based products

Acacia Gum and Gummies: The Story of a Beautiful Encounter

100% plant-based, rich in fibre, low in calories, flavour-enhancing with a significant environmental and societal impact: acacia gum possesses all the necessary qualities to captivate gummies, the playful form of supplements currently booming in the food supplement market.

Acacia, a Gum with Nutritional Fibre!

Acacia gum, also known as gum arabic, is a resinous exudate extracted from the Acacia senegal (L.) Willd tree. Sudan and other sub-Saharan African countries such as Chad, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania are the main producers of these solidified sap fragments 1.

Once harvested and dried, these precious amber aggregates are either crushed or transformed into a versatile powder by industrial stakeholders, with two of the major players being French companies: Alland & Robert and Nexira. Together, they represent over half of the global market for gum arabic 2.

BOTANI BRANDS: The Architect of Your Natural Solutions for the Development of Gummies and 2.0 Lozenges with acacia gum.

This texturising agent, also labelled as E414, is highly sought after by the food industry due to its emulsifying capacity, stabilising properties, and ability to capture flavours, making it an essential ingredient in beverages and sweets.

Beyond its technical properties, acacia gum is also valued for its high fibre content (ranging from 91% to 97%) and beneficial nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Since December 2021, the FDA has authorised the qualification of acacia gum as a “dietary fibre.” 3

This means that its beneficial effects on human health are officially recognised, including the reduction of postprandial glycemia, improvement of digestive comfort, and its role as a source of prebiotic fibres 4.

Acacia gum also has the notable advantage of not contributing to tooth decay. As a non-fermentable carbohydrate, it does not feed the mouth bacteria responsible for acidifying dental plaque 5.

Gum Arabic: Ecological and Sustainable Production

Before becoming an indispensable ingredient for Western industries, acacia gum primarily serves as a source of income for entire villages in the Sahel region.

Generations of men and women have learned how to cultivate gum-yielding trees (in the wild, only one in 10,000 acacia species naturally produces resin). They also know the purely manual methods for tapping the trees to extract their valuable sap, as well as cleaning and drying techniques that ensure the production of high-quality gum.

The production of gum arabic also protects the soil from erosion thanks to the tree’s root system, which slows down desertification. These “gum trees” store CO2 and contribute to soil fertilisation by providing significant amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and proteins. Senegalese acacia plantations also help maintain high biodiversity along the edge of the Sahara.

Major industrial stakeholders involved in the transformation of this resin must ensure that producers are adequately compensated for the difficulty of their work and their expertise. The two main stakeholders, Nexira and Alland & Robert, are committed to sustainable development practices that aim to protect this resource, improve producers’ income, and contribute to the development of this supply chain 6,7.

The BOTANI BRANDS team guides and supports you in formulating acacia gum-based nutritional gummies.

Emiga, a company specialized in sourcing this matter8, has also distinguished itself with the creation of the “Niger Acacia Senegal Plantation Project.” 9

Initiated in 2005 by Thierry Dulon and his associate Boureima Wankoye This project was originally part of the Kyoto Protocol’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Its objective was to restore deforested and degraded lands in Niger by empowering rural communities to adopt sustainable agroforestry through the cultivation of indigenous species, specifically Acacia senegalensis.

Thierry Dulon explains, “Thirty-three village communities have received carbon credits, and the income generated by cultivating acacia has enabled them to invest in healthcare, education, and the construction of seed farms.

Acacia gum is not just a plant-based gelling agent. Its added value lies in the nutritional and sensory properties it offers to consumers of food supplements. It provides the rapidly growing gummy market with an innovative, healthy, and sustainable alternative to the more traditional fruit pectins.

When Gummies and Acacia Gum Make a Perfect Pair

In search of the ideal texturising agent capable of combining taste pleasure, technological properties, and nutritional benefits, gummy manufacturers see the potential of incorporating this plant resin directly from Africa.

These food supplements, resembling candies, are primarily composed of fruit pectin extracted from food industry by-products. Based on its dual technical and nutritional role, acacia gum possesses all the advantages to diversify this market segment and enhance the “health” aspect of gummies, which is sometimes overshadowed by sugar and taste.

Thanks to its emulsifying properties, acacia gum stabilises flavours and essential oils, providing an optimised sensory experience for the consumer 10. Its texture enables forming a protective film in the mouth and throat mucosa, with the prolonged release of  active ingredients.

The brand “Pâte suisse” from Lehning Laboratories has successfully highlighted the health positioning of acacia gum by featuring it in a complete product range of nine “sugar-free Swiss pastilles.” These gummies are formulated with polyols (sorbitol and maltitol syrup), low-calorie sweeteners 11.

Lehning’s communication states, “Made from 100% natural acacia gum, Swiss pastilles fulfill all daily needs, including soothing sore throats, relieving coughs, improving sleep, and addressing vitamin deficiencies.

The Mémé brand highlights the prebiotic properties of acacia gum as its star ingredient 12.

Mé-Mé’s communication  states, “Rich in fibre, acacia sap aids digestion and is recognised as a natural prebiotic and excellent anti-inflammatory. Mé-Mé gummies are highly recommended after meals or coffee.

BOTANI BRANDS: The Architect of Your Natural Solutions for the Development of Gummies and 2.0 Lozenges. The BOTANI BRANDS team guides and supports you in formulating acacia gum-based nutritional gummies that will attract users seeking effectiveness, sensory pleasure, and responsible consumption.


Sources :

  1. Dr. Aafi Abderrahman’s gum arabic
  2. Source UNCTAD: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  3. Acacia gum granted by FDA as dietary fiber
  4. Journal Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol 13 No.4 (2022) : « Bongartz, U., Erlenbeck, C. and Wohlfahrt, I. (2022) The Effect of Gum Acacia on Post-Prandial Glucose and Insulin Levels in Healthy Subjects. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 13, 424-438. .
  5. Arch Oral Biol 2008 Mar;53(3):257-60. T Onishi 1, S Umemura, M Yanagawa, M Matsumura, Y Sasaki, T Ogasawara, T Ooshima : « Remineralization effects of gum arabic on caries-like enamel lesions »
  6. Nexira commitments
  7. Alland & Robert commitments
  10. Gum arabic and essential oil
  11. Pâtes suisses de Lehning
  12. Gummies Mémé à la gomme d’acacia

Soft chews: a new wave from the USA

The United States is the world’s leading consumer of vitamins and food supplements with a market posting over 50 billion dollars in the nutraceutical sector.1 Like gummies, many innovations are born across the Atlantic to then conquer European pharmacies. History seems to be repeating itself with the appearance of a new galenic in this health niche: soft chews, the newer version of gummies. This latest generation of chewing gum is conquering more and more brands, seduced by their sensory qualities and their high content of active ingredients.

Soft chews: an innovation in food supplements

These “tender bites” initially intended for the confectionery sector have finally established themselves as an innovative and fun galenic for food supplements. Like gummies, soft chews offer a pleasant healthy format enabling enhanced consumer sensation.

They come in the form of small 4-to-5-gram squares with generally a recommended daily intake of one or even two units.

While allowing the use of active ingredients such as vitamins, minerals or plant extracts, this galenic is also particularly interesting for its organoleptic aspect: taste, smell and texture (finally!) become essential parameters in nutraceuticals.

More attractive and pleasant than typically pharmaceutical formats such as capsules or tablets, soft chews call for better consumer compliance with treatments.

Self care applications

In parallel with gummies, soft chews therefore embody a new trend in naturalin natural health products self-medication.

The American site iHerb, one of the most important platforms for online natural products sales, already has more than 1000 references.2

Dulcolax notably launched Dulcolax Soft chews composed of magnesium hydroxide (quantity of 1200mg per chew) intended to improve occasional constipation in Canada.3

The brand emphasizes mechanical and rapid effectiveness (“relief in 30 minutes”) of the natural health product on constipation and does not fail to highlight the nomadic and gustatory aspect of this solution: “With Dulcolax® Soft Chews, adults and kids (12+) have a tasty and convenient new way to get things moving.”

Moreover, the chewing induced by this form of chewing gum, is a major interest for formulations such as these, intended to accompany digestive disorders.

Science has long been interested in the impact of proper chewing on digestion, helping to reduce gastric reflux, bloating, flatulence, and stomach aches.4,5,6

So, why not offer pregnant women to chew soft chews to help them reduce potential pregnancy nausea? The Mega Food brand has thought of this with its Baby & Me 2 sachet of 30 naturally lemon-flavoured formulated soft chews made with ginger and organic honey.7

They are available and also respond to all the indications commonly found in nutraceuticals: immunity, energy, sleep, relaxation, hair, skin, memory and digestion…

The Dutch brand Celebrate has chosen to bet on this differentiating galenic with a range of single ingredient (iron or calcium) or multivitamin soft chews.8

Actives ingredients and sensory qualities of soft chews

In addition to their taste input, soft chews enable incorporating a large quantity of active ingredients. Dulcolax chews are a good example with 1200mg of magnesium oxide per unit.

While standard size gummies contain an average of 70 to 80 mg of active ingredients, they do not face the same capacity limitations as former versions.

The number of intakes per day is therefore reduced, thus facilitating the following of the treatment by the consumer.

From a technical point of view, this galenic allows formulators to consider numerous combinations and synergies of active ingredients without space constraints.

Developed without gelatin, soft chews are ready to be certified vegan friendly and contribute in this sense to a reasoned, healthy, and natural diet that is increasingly popular with consumers.

In addition to their functional benefits for the body, soft chews have many advantages in terms of their texture, taste, and appearance.

In addition to other classic galenic forms, these “soft pastes” are popular in terms of dosage and taste pleasure.

It is a safe bet that this galenic offers broad prospects for development in Europe in the wake of its American boom.

In order to position you at the heart of this new trend, Botani Brands supports you in designing your soft chews thanks to its relevant and effective approach to the formulation of natural ingredients.


Sources :

  5. Esther H-J Kim et al. Chewing differences in consumers affect the digestion and colonic fermentation outcomes: in vitro studies. Food & Function journal. 2022 Sep 22;13(18):9355-9371.
  6. Mercier P., & Poitras, P.. Gastrointestinal symptoms and masticatory dysfunction. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 7(1), 61-65. (1992)

Our references

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