Gelatin capsules are sourced from animals, a press release from NOW notes, which can be off-putting to some customers. NOW instead will be using Capsugel’s VCaps, made of cellulose material from pine trees. The capsules are Kosher and Halal certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, and preservative-free.
“To date 97% of our capsule products are in Veg Capsules," Dan Richard, VP Global Sales and Marketing, said in the release. "NOW is Capsugel’s largest US customer for Veg Capsules.”The company is also phasing out magnesium stearate, which is commonly used in encapsulated products as a flow agent, the release explains. NOW reported that consumers have shown a preference for avoiding it. The company further noted that magnesium stearate is on FDA’s GRAS list, and that the company believes it is safe and without known health concerns, "as initial test tube studies suggesting otherwise have not been supported by better human clinical studies." NOW is substituting with stearic acid, a common dietary fat.