Britvic boosts vitamin drinks with Xampla’s UV ray resistant microcapsules

Britvic is teaming up with University of Cambridge spin-off Xampla in a £1 million (US$1.36 million) packaging innovation partnership, supplying consumers with pea protein-based vitamin microcapsules. The capsules are ultraviolet (UV) ray resistant and can enhance plastic bottle recyclability.

Xampla says the product represents the “world’s first” commercialized plant protein material for making microscopic capsules that protect vitamins within liquid, preventing them from being broken down by sunlight.

Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation agency, has injected £1 million (US$1.36 million) into the company to support the scaling up of its technology and material processing.

Simon Hombersley, Xampla’s CEO, tells PackagingInsights: “This [product] enables brands to use clear packaging that lets in UV rays without damaging the vitamins, as they are already protected in Xampla’s innovative micro packaging within the liquid itself.”

“This [solution] means that brands do not have to sacrifice their packaging of choice to deliver the maximum amount of vitamins to consumers.”

A close-up of a plastic water bottle in a bucket of ice as the Sun shines down on a hot Summer day. It is a good idea to keep hydrated while doing activities on a hot day.

Clear bottle boost

Xampla’s new partner Britvic says the innovation is “critical” to delivering drinks fortified with vitamins in clear plastic bottles. Clear plastic bottles are considered widely recyclable through consumer recycling streams, with Britvic’s research showing people are 40% more likely to recycle clear bottles over coloured ones.

Clear bottles are easier to sort and therefore more likely to be recycled. However, the downside of clear bottles is that they let more UV rays in, reducing vitamin D protection.

“Clear bottles are easier to sort during the recycling process, which means they are more likely to be recycled into clear plastic to be used for another bottle,” explains Hombersley. “In contrast, darker or dyed plastics are more challenging to turn into clear plastic for reuse and they tend to be recycled into other items including clothing, playground equipment or garden furniture.”

“Xampla’s technology can be used in the liquid of a product inside any bottle color but the innovation is especially exciting when we consider clear plastic packaging and the challenge this presents for vitamins being exposed to UV rays.”


Xampla is a Gold Partner for the Rethinking Materials Summit on May 4-5, 2022 and CEO Simon Hombersley is joining the agenda as a speaker.