How do I deal with the instability of Indole-3-Carbinol?
Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is both heat and light sensitive and exponentially degrades under normal storage conditions. Refrigeration at or below 40º F will maintain product purity for years. However, studies indicate that all reported health benefits associated with I3C actually stem from the degradation products formed upon ingestion.
Initial laboratory analysis reveals no difference between the primary degradation products produced in the stomach upon ingestion and those produced by degradation in storage. The total dietary indole content remains constant while the indole-3-carbinol quantity varies. To deal with labeling issues, we suggest reporting total dietary indole content as opposed to I3C content. This still allows delivery of benefits without the expense and trouble of refrigeration. If appearance will affect customer satisfaction, it would be best to refrigerate or encapsulate with opaque capsules.