Liquid supplements have long been a popular alternative to pills, primarily because they’re easier to swallow than traditional capsules and tablets. However, they’re challenging for manufacturers since mixtures of dietary supplements are typically bitter and unpleasant tasting, and making them palatable for consumers can be difficult.
At NOW we spend considerable time and effort developing liquid supplements that taste good. Some examples are our orange-flavored Liquid CoQ10, berry- and orange-flavored Liquid Multi, lemon- and blueberry-flavored Liquid Cal-Mag, and many more.
The process of flavoring liquid supplements
The major challenge in making a flavorful liquid supplement is masking the typical “off flavors” associated with certain vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. Every supplement contains active ingredients that are considered to be its base. The taste of this base typically varies from slightly unacceptable to an awful-tasting combination. We test several natural ingredients, both alone and in various combinations, to develop the most effective way to mask a base with an off taste
This development process incorporates formulator experience, information from existing formulas, food flavoring literature, and supplier information, as well as odor and taste tests. We experiment with our exhaustive inventory of natural liquid and powder flavors. We use both individual flavors and combinations of flavors to achieve the best possible flavor profile. Every supplement is created uniquely, in terms of flavor combinations and potencies. We take pride in using only natural flavors.
Testing for taste
The last phase of the development process involves a series of sensory evaluations, or taste tests. As the supplement formula approaches an acceptable flavor level, it is presented for internal evaluation. The samples are evaluated by experienced employees for taste and other sensory parameters. The feedback from these tests results in formula revisions and modifications.
We continue this process until we reach nearly perfect scores for the test. The final approval typically involves a blind taste test by a trained panel of 10 judges. The blind test includes new formulation in comparison with competitive products from the market. If the new formulation achieves the highest rating, it is considered ready to be launched. If not, the development process continues until we get it right.
At NOW we understand the importance of taste when it comes to liquid supplements and we work hard to ensure that every liquid supplement we produce has a pleasant taste.