Product Application Encyclopedia丨Gelatin Solution in Capsules


In 2021, the global dietary supplements market will have a total revenue of approximately US$76 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.4% during the period 2021-2026. Capsules have been widely used in recent years due to their convenience, fast onset of action and relatively simple production process, making them the most common and promising dosage form in the healthcare industry. The most important material for capsules is gelatin.

Classification of gelatin

  • Hard capsules

Hard capsules are an excellent packaging material for pharmaceutical products and can provide good protection for the medicine inside; they can reduce the chances of oxidation and moisture absorption of the medicine; they avoid the damage to the medicine caused by the high temperature during the processing of the tablets. Pharmaceutical gelatine hollow capsules are a special kind of pharmaceutical excipient which enters the human digestive system together with the medicine and is eventually absorbed by the body.

  • Soft capsules

Soft capsules are a preparation of semi-solid substances such as oily liquids or suspensions and emulsions enclosed in a capsule and are widely used in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Most capsule preparations are currently prepared using gelatin as the main capsule skin material, water as the solvent, glycerin as the solubilising agent and the addition of shading agents, preservatives, pigments and other materials.

Important issues to consider when producing capsules

  • Cross-linking phenomenon

Gelatin has an extremely good API dissolution rate, which allows the active ingredient of the drug to be absorbed into the body very quickly and is one of the most important factors for pharmaceutical manufacturers to consider.

In general, the disintegration process of capsules is completed quickly in the stomach. If the capsule is exposed to unsuitable conditions such as high temperatures or humidity, or if the contents contain aldehydes, the capsule shell will cross-link and become less likely to disintegrate. Previously gelatin was susceptible to this, but with the further subdivision and improvement of Formatech gelatin, cross-linking has been greatly reduced.

  • Oxygen permeability

Some drugs have complex active ingredients, which makes them more susceptible to oxidation. Capsules offer the best protection when sealing such products and are therefore the ideal dosage form. In addition, because of its low oxygen permeability, gelatine is the most suitable excipient for oxygen-sensitive active ingredients. Therefore, gelatin capsules are always preferred by manufacturers when the oxidative sensitivity of the contents is taken into account.

  • Cost effectiveness

Compared to other excipients, gelatin is the most cost effective. Primary HPMC capsules use four times the cost of raw materials and three times the production cost of gelatin.

  • Processability

Gelatin is highly processable, meaning that it is suitable for all types of processes and does not require additional gelling agents or additional equipment.

Foodmate gelatin for capsules

Foodmate gelatin for capsules is specially designed for soft and hard capsules, which require high physical and chemical properties. We are able to offer gelatin products with a wide range of parameters according to the customer's needs, with excellent disintegration and fluidity and strict control of transparency and microbiology, with perfect flexibility and smooth and shiny appearance.

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