Rising Interest in Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

Plant-based diets are leading the vegan supplement market growth and businesses are responding to consumer demand by providing a variety of vegan-based supplements.


Around 2% of the world population is vegan and according to Mintel research, vitamin, and dietary supplements with vegan/no-animal ingredients claims rose from 17% in 2019 to 25% in 2022. (1,2)

Nutrient Intake Factor in Vegan Diets 

While plant-based diets are thought to be healthier, research suggests that vegetarians and vegans may run the risk of getting too little of some nutrients. Vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc, calcium, eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are elements that may be at risk in plant-based diets, because they are either more abundant in animal foods or have a lower bioavailability in plant-derived foods. (3)

In this case, many consumers prefer combining supplements with their vegan/vegetarian diet, thus making vegan soft gels quite popular in nutraceutical market. In general, soft gel supplements are accepted by consumers because of their quick absorption properties and vegan soft gels are a perfect match for consumers who would like to support their plant-based diets. (3)

Challenges to Overcome in Vegan Soft Gels 

The main component for vegan soft gels is vegetable-derived cellulose. For vegan capsule manufacturing, this plant-based component is mixed with other ingredients such as water, plasticizers, coloring, etc. The solution is then heated at a high temperature, usually 90 °C, for several hours. Compared to a gelatin soft gel manufacturing process, there is a need for higher heat and pH (~8) for a stable encapsulation result. In this vegan soft gel manufacturing process, colors used must be high performing and stable.(4) 

As Sensient, through our natural color library, proprietary innovations and developments in color technology, we can offer a wide palette of natural colors to enhance the overall product experience and appeal to customers. With our specialized equipment and technology, we offer ready to sample heat stable colors for your soft gel application. See our broad spectrum of  TiO2 free and clean label colors that are customizable to meet your brand needs.  

Contact our experts to find the right solution for your vegan & vegetarian soft gel application. 

1- Vegan vs. Vegetarian: What’s the Difference? HealthLine August 23, 2021
2- The Future of Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements: 2023 – Mintel Report June 2023
3- Vegetarianism: the basic facts, 2018, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, USA. Amidor T 2019, The balance between plant and animal foods, Today’s Dietitian, vol. 21, no. 10, p. 32
4- Panda, Simanchal, Pratit Kanchana Sahu, and Sruti Ranjan Mishra. "A Review on Vegetarian Capsules."

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