Bitterness when scaling up

Hi all,

I’m hoping someone can help me. I am starting my own supplement company and have been working on my first product which is an energy and focus powder blend. 
When the product is made in small hand samples the flavour is perfect however when the product is scaled up and put through the mixer machine it produces a horrible bitter taste. I can’t understand what could be causing this. Could anyone offer any solutions or inform on what could be causing it to change ? 

Comments

  • ajw000ajw000 Member
    Is it heated? Heat will affect flavor depending on how long/high it is heated. 
  • EVchemEVchem Member
    What is the mixer machine made of?
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    And what are the ingredients?
  • The mixing process is does not use any heat. The ingredients consist of a mixture of nootropics  and stimulants. Without publishing all ingredients it includes things like caffiene, creatine, teacrine.
  • The part which I’m struggling to understand is we had the product tasting great when in a hand sample but when scaled up and put through mixer this bitterness just appears.
  • ajw000 said:
    Is it heated? Heat will affect flavor depending on how long/high it is heated. 
    ajw000 said:
    Is it heated? Heat will affect flavor depending on how long/high it is heated. 
    EVchem said:
    What is the mixer machine made of?

  • EVchemEVchem Member
    Are the ingredients you are using  from the same lot when you make smaller batches vs large? 
  • The process of mixing in a machine induces friction between the particles. There is an energy input. I think it's quite possible that the mechanical mixing energy is causing a chemical reaction between two or more of the components.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    Are you using wt/wt% or volumetric measurements (cups, gallons, tbsp's)?
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    It's probably particle size since caffeine and more so theacrine have a bitter taste and also creatine does taste slightly bitter. Especially caffeine and theacrine are not easily soluble in cold water and therefore, smaller particle size greatly increases speed of dissolution. A finer ground powder hence dissolves faster and therefore tastes more because only dissolved substance can be tasted.
    How is your blend prepared and consumed? I mean, does it have to be dissolved in water or fruit juice right before use?
    As challenge test: Dissolve each a hand made sample and a machine made one in hot water, stir until everything has dissolved, let cool to drinkable temps, and only then try both. Is there still a difference?
  • HerbnerdHerbnerd Member
    edited January 9
    I develop supplements as my main role. Sometimes things can be really unpredictable.

    1. Check that the materials you are using for your trials are the same materials you are using in the scale-up/batch. It seems obvious but the amount of times I have heard of people using one material for trials thinking it is the same material in production only to get confused afterwards never fails to astound me. Do a side by side taste comparison of the raw materials. Someone I know was accidentally given a sample of sucrose rather than inulin. The scale up product was not what he intended. 

    2. Check the quantities used in the trial are the same - I have seen stated that 0.01 g to be used in say a 30 g mix, but screw up the batch amount by adding 0.01 % in the final formula (especially where you are using high intensity sweeteners or flavours).

    3. Check accuracy. Making a 30 g sample in the lab means you need a greater degree of accuracy than making 300 kg. Your 0.1 g in the lab could be up to 0.15 g (or your 0.2 g could only be 0.16 g)

    4. Scale up your samples in the lab before going to production. Making a 100 g sample is different to making a 5 kg sample. It can iron out other problems

    5. Check your calculations - Seriously, this gets overlooked. (both lab and production calculations). Transposition errors are common - ie 18-81, 17-71 etc. Check your material calculations too - Thiamine to Thiamine hydrochloride for example - You may be adding 100 mg of thiamine hydrochloride but the compounders may assume that to mean 100 mg of thiamine = 112 mg of Thiamine Hydrochloride.

    6. Check units - have you mixed up metric and imperial measurements? It happens.

    7. Hand blending and production blending are not the same. Hand blending usually means putting the samples in a bag and shaking, or stirring in a beaker. Machine blending, especially ribbon blenders generate heat.

    Feel free to message me if you need any further assistance. 
  • Pharma said:
    It's probably particle size since caffeine and more so theacrine have a bitter taste and also creatine does taste slightly bitter. Especially caffeine and theacrine are not easily soluble in cold water and therefore, smaller particle size greatly increases speed of dissolution. A finer ground powder hence dissolves faster and therefore tastes more because only dissolved substance can be tasted.
    How is your blend prepared and consumed? I mean, does it have to be dissolved in water or fruit juice right before use?
    As challenge test: Dissolve each a hand made sample and a machine made one in hot water, stir until everything has dissolved, let cool to drinkable temps, and only then try both. Is there still a difference?
    The blender they use is a v blender. The mixture is used by adding it to water and mixing before drinking.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    With a quick ditch, mix, cheers I wouldn't be astonished if it were particle size although a V blender is fairly gentle on particle size.
    On the other hand, did you check that the product was really homogeneously mixed in the V blender? They don't seem super accurate to me... I may be completely wrong here, I admit (never worked with a V blender)!
  • Cafe33Cafe33 Member
    V-blenders create homogeneous mixes provide the particles are of similar size and that the blender is not overfilled. Also, there is a tendency to over mix with V-blenders and that can be detrimental and lead to particle segregation.  Also some mixes might need a certain increased cohesion so they stay together properly. Silicon Dioxide was a very useful additive when I use to manufacture supplements I must say.
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