Our Vitamin C portfolio
Our vitamin C forms serve the highly varied needs of the human and animal nutrition and health sectors; as well as the pharmaceutical industry.
Customer requirements differ considerably from one industrial segment to another. At one end of the spectrum, ascorbic acid is used for its antioxidant properties. This use – along with certain other technical and industrial applications – doesn’t call for mandatory and specific purity grades. At the other end of the spectrum, vitamin C is used as a supplement in products like effervescent tablets and soft drinks.
Purity grades for these applications are set by our customers (manufacturers of registered pharmaceutical products). Full documentary evidence of compliance is therefore required, covering for example purity levels and certificates of analysis; and our customers have a legal right to be informed about any changes to our manufacturing process.
We add value through customer-specific technical applications based on a value-based pricing approach where price levels for individual product forms and applications are determined by the value they add to our clients’ products and applications.
One example is the technology of coating, which is sometimes used to protect vitamin C products from the effects of oxidation. Coatings are more expensive to produce, despite the relatively low price of ascorbic acid itself. Coated vitamin C products and chemical derivatives (esters) are therefore only manufactured to serve very specific uses in animal nutrition, human nutrition (eg tablet manufacture) and personal care.
Vitamin C is used in many human nutrition applications and our products provide several grades of ascorbic acid capable of meeting any particle size needed based on the equipment available at our facility in Dalry, Scotland. Our vitamin C forms range in size from an ultra-fine powder suitable for dry blending with other fine powder materials, to a granular material with excellent flow characteristics.
For certain special dry food applications - where hygroscopicity is a concern and it’s therefore important to stop the product clumping together - the coated formulations Ascorbic Acid FC (fat-coated) and Ascorbic Acid EC (ethylcellulose-coated) can be used.
We produce special high-performance product forms for use in tablets in the dietary supplement field. The standard product forms, which have outstanding tableting properties and excellent powder flowability, are Ascorbic Acid 95% Granulation and Ascorbic Acid 90% Granulation. Ascorbic Acid 95% Granulation is also sugar-free, since hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose is used as a granulation aid. Another product form with excellent tableting performance is Sodium Ascorbate 99% TG. This form uses pectin, very common in many food products as a granulation ingredient.
Ascorbic acid crystal is generally sufficient for use in beverages, fruits and vegetables; while ascorbic acid fine powder can also be used for certain baking applications. Sodium ascorbate is the derivative of choice for meat processing where it’s dissolved in a brine containing nitrite or nitrate salts. Ascorbyl Palmitate is used as an antioxidant to prevent rancidity in fats and oils – used either as a pure substance or in synergistic blends (the RONOXAN® product range).
Pharmaceutical applications are subject to special regulatory requirements,which extend to vitamin C forms. In Europe, a Certificate of Suitability (CEP) is required from the European Directory for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM). The United States operates a similar system, with drug master files having to be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.
After submitting a detailed dossier describing our vitamin C manufacturing method, product impurity profile and quality systems, a CEP was granted by the EDQM for ascorbic acid manufactured at our Dalry site in Scotland. The CEP can be used by our pharmaceutical customers when making their own applications to the regulatory authorities and demonstrates that vitamin C from DSM is compliant with the monograph of European Pharmacopoeia.
European food manufacturers will not use any products that have been genetically engineered at any stage (the various phases of manufacture are traced ‘back to the farm’). In strict legal terms, only products made ‘from’genetically modified crops require GM labeling; but this is not the case when a product is made ‘with’ a genetically modified organism or microorganism.