Patented ingredients, guaranteeing a quality product

To design a quality food supplement, the selection of raw materials is an essential step. Here are the keys to understanding what is behind the term “patented ingredients”. 

What are patented ingredients?

In the world of cosmetics and dietary supplements, a patented ingredient refers to ingredients produced by specialized companies that are committed to meeting rigorous standards. This guarantees both the quality and the effectiveness of the ingredient. The optimization of the implementation processes allows for reaching convincing results.

The recognition of these ingredients comes from scientific and clinical studies. Indeed, numerous in vitro and in vivo analyses prove the effectiveness of these raw materials. Similarly, all the results of these tests, as well as clinical studies, are available to the general public.

What is the purpose of a patent? What guarantees does it provide?

Not all ingredients are equal. Each one has properties that make it effective. Thus, a healthy and natural ingredient does not necessarily guarantee an effective and beneficial activity for the body. Patents are the result of long research to obtain functional ingredients. They play on the properties of the latter by making them more absorbable by the body or by purifying them.

The importance of the quality and origin of raw materials

One of the points requiring particular attention concerns the quality and origin of the raw materials. The environment in which the raw material grows or is formed can be polluted. Specific extraction and/or purification processes will thus make it possible to guarantee an optimal quality of this raw material.

Example of oils rich in omega 3

The marine environment is one of the most polluted environments today. Heavy metals and plastic microparticles accumulate in aquatic plants as well as in fish and other organisms living in these environments. These same fish are remarkable sources of omega 3. Therefore, some companies have developed efficient filtration systems that remove all pollutants to obtain oils rich in superior quality omega 3. The oils thus obtained are the result of research with innovative and patented processes.

The importance of raw material dosages

Another essential point concerns the dosages. To have a real physiological effect and not just a placebo effect, the active ingredients must be provided in sufficient quantities. The patent of raw material is accompanied by solid scientific and clinical documentation, particularly concerning the dosage.

Example of plant extracts

Plants are full of active compounds with amazing properties. It is these compounds and not the plant as such that act on the body. Therefore, these compounds must be present in sufficient quantities in the finished product. For this reason, many raw materials from plants are patented to guarantee a standardized extract, i.e. one in which the active compounds appear in a defined and known quantity. Thus, there is no quantitative variation from one product to another, which ensures the safety and effectiveness of the product. 

The importance of the bioavailability and galenic of raw materials

One of the last points to be considered concerns bioavailability, which is directly dependent on the galenic design of the product. Bioavailability is defined as the effective quantity of a compound that reaches the bloodstream and thus acts on the body. Similarly, the galenic designates the appearance of the product (capsule, tablet, syrup, etc.).

Example of minerals and vitamins

Vitamins and minerals exist in many forms, each with marked effectiveness. Vitamin B9 exists in synthetic form (folic acid) or biologically active forms (folinic acid or methyl folate). The latter does not have to be transformed once in the body, which can therefore use them directly. Similarly, iron exists in various forms (heme and non-heme) and has a relatively low natural assimilation. Liposomal technology provides an efficient solution to the problems of iron assimilation. The iron is enclosed in a very small spherical structure. This allows it to easily cross the stomach’s acidic environment without being destroyed by digestive enzymes or bile salts. It then enters the bloodstream to be distributed throughout the body.

How to recognize a patented ingredient?

Ingredients derived from scientific research or based on evidence are generally distinguished in a list of ingredients by the following logo ” ® “. This logo guarantees that a trademark has been registered, that a registration procedure has been followed, and that a certificate of registration is held.

It should also be recognized that the use of ingredients that have been studied and researched results in a higher cost. In the case of vitamin B9 mentioned above, the price of a methylated form is about 6 times higher than a synthetic form. Therefore, the final product is generally more expensive, but this translates into higher quality and effectiveness! 


There are multiple raw materials available for the design of dietary supplements. However, quality and efficacy vary depending on the intrinsic properties of each ingredient. Patented ingredients provide guarantees on both the quality and efficacy of products. These ingredients are the subject of many years of research supported by clinical and scientific tests that attest to their effectiveness. 


Key take-home messages

  • Not all raw materials are equal
  • To have a quality final product, each component of the formula must be equally qualitative
  • Patents are the result of extensive research to make ingredients functional
  • Scientifically researched or evidence-based ingredients are usually distinguished by the following logo “®”.
  • A patented ingredient usually costs more than a lambda ingredient


Tricarico V., What’s the process for manufacturing dietary supplements, 2022

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