Research and Development
The R&D process at Scivation employs a wide array of moving parts. From concept to completion, we are continually challenging and pushing our own ideas and the input of others, to create the best performance nutritional products possible.
Of course, every company touts their expertise and their scientific acumen, and why not? It makes little to no sense to adopt the position of being ignorant to the biological and chemical intricacies that make up the very core of the mission statement of a sports nutrition company. But the sad reality is that there are only a handful of companies deeply rooted in the science, steeped in the regulations, and committed to the consumers. The rest are, for the most part, snake-oil salesmen or knock-off artists.
Below are brief details of the Scivation process. Hopefully this cursory peek into the inner scientific sanctum of Scivation will give you a better understanding and a genuine appreciation of the processes used in creating products worthy of the Scivation name; worthy of putting into your body.
No One Has a Monopoly on Brains
The Scientific Affairs Department at Scivation does not claim to have all the answers, but what we do have is a team of committed and credentialed scientists in an array of disciplines who come together to form the R&D process at Scivation. These are not just chemists and not just exercise physiologists, but a team of material scientists, biologists, food scientists, flavor engineers, and yes, physiologist and chemists, to fully integrate and work on specific aspects of the product development process. Our raw material partners explore synthesis pathways, fermentation processes, and extraction and purification processes. A constant dialogue is essential with our manufacturing relationships as we articulate production guidelines that will preserve the integrity and elegance of the original prototype. Our lines of communication with testing facilities, universities and independent researchers are open while formulating and developing Scivation products.
Inception of an Idea
Scivation product ideas are spawned from an unmet need, an unfulfilled category, a marketplace opportunity, a new or novel compound needing a home, or emerging trends behind theoretical framework. Our preference is for simplistic, elegant, yet efficacious product design. A kitchen-sink creation that employs every "popular" ingredient, with the sole purpose of parading them on the label, is ignorant at best and irresponsible at worst. Rather, Scivation investigates the product proposition, its intended use, intake timing and dosage and delivery system, and then we formulate around the metabolic machinery that most effectively supports the intended purpose. Our inception isn’t a cram session or molecular mayhem; it is thoughtful preparation of a product with deliberant intent.
Material Specs and Material Science
As one might expect, a product is only as good as its ingredients. But there is more to an ingredient that just its chemical construction. Molecules are molecules; that is until you need to use them in a product. After purity is achieved and guaranteed, we become concerned with the physical and sometimes sensory (organoleptic) properties of the compounds and ingredients. Things like particle size and shape (morphology), porosity and density, current moisture content and the propensity to take on moisture (hygroscopicity), may not sound intriguing to most people, but they are sexy as hell to us. Without an understanding and a fervent zeal to manage these seemingly benign attributes, products become more difficult and expensive to manufacture, and oftentimes, they fall far short of expectations. That leaves the consumer (you) to wrestle with an ill-performing, clumpy or poor-tasting product, all of which are — to borrow a scientific term—crappy.
After our sourced materials are scrutinized or modified for the necessary physical properties, they are assigned a dosage method and a delivery system. Some products are better suited for powder delivery, and some are better in a solid dose (tablets and two-piece capsules), and still others are ideal candidates for liquid delivery.
Parallel Pilot: Prepping for Scale-Up
While an ingredient’s physical and costing parameters are ironed out, bench-top work is in motion, testing the rigor of our concepts. Do the ingredients mix as desired? Do they taste as predicted? Will they perform as originally modeled? Theoretical formulas have to eventually become real formulas, so it is at this step, where an armchair formulation “guru” gets crushed. Doing novel work oftentimes demands iteration after iteration, and only the seasoned veterans come out on top with an acceptable viable product.
At the point where we have a semi-finished formula, we run another lab batch to get samples out to key team members and associates to “beta-test” efficacy and consumer compliance (e.g., taste, perceived/non-scientific effects, etc.). For a powdered product, this is the juncture where we fine-tune flavor systems and other organoleptic properties with the singular purpose of maximizing consumer acceptance. Bottom line: if the product doesn’t taste good people are a lot less likely to use it.
Diving Deeper: Study Design; Study Purpose
After in-vivo rodent model testing to assess safety and efficacy, and after final formulation nuances (such as flavor and mouth feel) are refined, a human trial is developed and performed to support human-use efficacy and safety of the final formulation.
Anal About Analytical Testing
To guarantee potency and purity of all the finished products, we determine analytic procedures to assess label claims for a 2-year minimum expiration. The procedures are crafted to ensure the integrity of the product while certifying that compound identities and formulation organoleptics can be properly measured.
Culmination of Science and Innovation