When buying empty capsules, now you have the option buying traditional Gelatin or Vegetarian Capsule. As both can be used, the preference is determined by the consumer's need. Even so, as a pharmaceutical or supplement manufacturer understanding the materials and benefits of each type of capsules can help you decide which is the most appropriate for the product.
Gelatin is the most common material in the production of capsules not only because it is cheaper than other alternatives, gelatin also has beneficial effects for the body when digested - it is good for the digestive system, protects the joints and helps reduce the pain in these, assists in improving sleep and favors mood and cognitive functions. Gelatin has been used in medicine for many years and there is a wide variety of commercially available gelatin capsules that differ in characteristics such as colors, sizes and flavors. Gelatin itself is an animal by-product that is high in collagen and is produced with the connective tissue of calf or chicken.
Although the percentage of people who have restrictions on their preferences is not great, capsule manufacturers have to consider another important factor. Specifically, that gelatin capsules are preferred for powdered drugs. Liquid-based formulations are usually not compatible with gelatin and this has to be considered when choosing a type of capsule.
There are 2 types of Gelatin capsules: 1) hard with lids and 2) soft, with a single shell.
The consistency of the capsules depends on the ratio of the three main components: gelatin, glycerin and water. Glycerin can partially be replaced by other plasticizers - sorbitol, sugar syrup.
Solid capsules are designed for dispensing bulk powder and granular substances. They have the shape of a cylinder with hemispherical ends are composed of two parts: the body and the lid; both parts must freely enter one into the other without forming gaps.
Soft capsules - for liquid and pasty medicinal substances. They have the form of spherical, ovate, oblong or cylindrical hemispherical ends.
The quality of the capsules is largely determined by the film-forming agents, which are currently over 50: gelatin, fats, paraffin, MC, EC, polyethylene, nylon, PVC, etc. The main raw material for capsules is gelatin.
The question that can be asked is why soft gelatin capsules are plant-based? The use of animal gelatin in the production of soft gelatin capsules can be a serious obstacle for many people and markets in the world because of questions of religion, regulatory, cultural and personal preferences when the use of animal products is unacceptable. The shell of this capsule is made of seaweed extract and starch without gluten, and also without modified sugars and dyes. In fact, it's a vegetarian capsule.
Advantages of soft gelatin capsules based on plant raw materials are: complete absence of animal derivatives (pork or beef), they are easy to swallow because of a soft and natural shell without a specific odor. In addition, such a shell will provide high stability with a wide range of temperatures and humidity.
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