Capsules are the preferred way for many people to take their medications or health supplements. Not only does a capsule have little or no taste, it dissolve quickly in the intestines and is easy for the drug or supplement manufacturer to fill. Compared with other ways of taking drugs, capsules are not affected by the formulation and thus do not impact on the effectiveness of the drug.
When purchasing empty capsules, there is now a choice to be made between vegetarian or the more traditional gelatin capsule. As both types can be used, preference is often determined principally by the customer needs. Nevertheless, as a pharmaceutical or supplement manufacturer, understanding the materials and benefits of each type of capsule can help you decide the most appropriate one to buy for any given product.
Gelatin is the most common material used in capsule production as not only is it more affordable than the alternatives, but gelatin also has beneficial effects on the body when digested – it is good for the digestive system, protects joints and helps reduce joint pain, assists in improving sleep, lifts moods and improves cognitive functions. Gelatin has been used in medicines for many years and a wide range of gelatin capsules are available commercially, differing in features such as color, size and flavor. Gelatin itself is an animal by-product that is high in collagen and is produced from the connective tissues of beef or chicken. This can be an issue for consumers who prefer not to eat products of animal origin or have dietary restrictions preventing them from consuming such products.
Although the percentage of people who have restrictions with their preferences is not large, capsule makers should consider another one major factor. Namely, gelatin capsules are preferred for powdered drug formulations. Liquid based formulations are not usually compatible with gelatin, and this should be taken into consideration when choosing the capsule type to use.
The main ingredient of vegetarian capsules is cellulose. It is of natural plant origin and has no known potential health hazards even when taken for prolonged periods, as it is non-toxic. Being not of animal origin, cellulose capsule types are suitable for individuals who have dietary or religious restrictions, which prevent them from consuming products from animal sources. Vegetarian capsules are also classified as Halal or Kosher products, which is important for many individuals. These capsules are also available in a variety of sizes and color, and by offering both traditional and vegetarian capsules can manufacturer can cover all customer bases.
Eventually, Before purchasing empty capsules, a manufacturer should understand the intended market as each capsule has its own advantages and disadvantages. Because both types are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors, it is also important to make sure that the capsule material and the drug formulation are compatible so that the most appropriate capsule material is chosen.