PLT Health Solutions, Inc. used the 2017 IFT Expo to launch a liquid-stable extended release caffeine ingredient aimed at the 2oz to 4oz beverage or “shot” market. The new ingredient is the third entry based on zümXR® Targeted Release Caffeine technology. Previous ingredients have included Extended Release and Delayed Release versions of zümXR made for dry systems. 

All zümXR ingredients feature state-of-the-art delivery system technology drawn from the pharmaceutical industry that represents a significant step forward from conventional caffeine coating technologies. This technology will allow food, beverage and supplement formulators to design custom energy profiles into their products, delivering predictable performance for the consumer. The flexibility of this technology allows targeted release caffeine solutions to be used in a broad array of applications, including beverage, supplements, stick packs, powders, gummies, bars and gels.

Sid Hulse, PLT Health Solutions’ vice president of product development, says zümXR technology has been developed to meet a need for predictable, reproducible performance in energy profile design. 

"Most approaches to making modified release caffeine feature lipids and waxes that were originally focused on masking flavor and later adapted to this application,” he notes. “Most of the early modified release solutions were done 'in tablet' rather than as an ingredient matrix, which mean no powders and no beverage applications. 

“Our testing has shown that, quite often, the extended release materials we see on the market either give up too much caffeine too quickly, or don't give up enough caffeine at all – making it less experiential. The zümXR approach has been developed using pharma modeling techniques for our dissolution design with USP methodologies used to measure performance. It features high quality, tightly controlled coating materials that are heat stable, which broadens the applications where these ingredients can be used.”

Designing a Custom Energy Profile 

zümXR Extended Release Caffeine is designed to provide long-term energy without the unpleasant effects associated with many caffeine products. In its specification, it delivers not more than 55% of the total caffeine at one hour and not less than 80% at six hours. The Delayed Release Caffeine delivers not more than 25% at one hour and over 80% at two hours—for a surge of caffeine at a fixed time. 

To date, most interest in these ingredients have been centered on the concept of using them in conjunction with anhydrous immediate release caffeine in an effort to design an energy profile that closely fits with the application. 

The new zümXR Liquid Stable ingredient is based on the Extended Release technology. The delivery system is a non-pH dependent, lipid-based coating. Caffeine is released through enzymatic processes. The caffeine “spheres” do not float at the top, they remain dispersed throughout liquids—lending a striking visual effect of the material in the liquid substrate. PLT is marketing this ingredient into the “shot” application – from 2oz to 4 oz. 

According to Hulse, it is the predictive performance of these ingredients that helps deliver value in a custom-designed energy profile.

 "The zümXR technology shows excellent reproducibility of dissolution profiles from batch to batch. As a result, we can really design energy profiles that fit lifestyle requirements,” he says. “For example, we can imagine a 'morning pick me up' that would function like a long-lasting cup of coffee, a pre-workout product that gives an extra boost of energy an hour or so into a workout and eliminates the post workout crash. Or a 'long study night' product that gives smooth and steady long-term energy. The predictive performance of zümXR makes it easy for formulators to deliver on the promises they make about their products.”

For more information, visit