Natural Products Insider

APR 2012

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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as by their nature, opaque capsules are more brit tle. In formulating empty capsules, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is commonly used as an emulsifying agent and surfactant. SLS is like the soap that allows grease and water to occupy the same space; hence, SLS-free capsules are prone to having thin spots, where cracking occurs most frequently in the shoulder area of the capsule. For hygroscopic formulas, hypromellose may best suit the application. Capsule Filling Conditions in the filling room are paramount in terms of both humidity and temperature. During cold winter months, heating systems dry out the facility air to the point where it is commonly recorded at 15 to 20 percent relative humidity. Capsules openly exposed to such dry air will lose moisture in a matter of minutes, becoming brittle. During these times, por table industr ial humidif iers can be used to maintain relative humidity at an optimal range of 45 to 50 percent. Using re-sealable bag ties for opened capsule cartons will make it easier for operators to protect capsules while in the encapsulation room. On the filling machine, use only the required amount of vacuum necessary to separate empty capsules, especially when using opaque (colored) capsules. Excessive vacuum can cause pin-hole fracturing in the body dome. In capsule closing, use of a Go/No-Go gauge can prevent cracking caused by over-closing a filled capsule. Packaging During packaging, several heat and impact sources can contribute to capsule breakage, usually af ter significant moisture loss has occurred due to storage, formulation or other processing. Common heat sources include blister equipment and heat tunnels. Brittle capsules may crack when they are dumped from bulk containers into capsule counters, or when used with aggressive brush boxes. To avoid capsule cracking in the packaging area, use care in handling. Design material transfer processes that minimize impact and avoid excessive weight load in bulk hoppers. Avoid extended exposure to heat, especially where capsules may sit on hot equipment such as a thermo-former. Also, be aware that capsules packaged with desiccants (which are designed to absorb moisture) can cause brittleness in finished goods inventory and on store shelves. High-quality capsules will withstand the rigors of many manufactur ing and formulation chal lenges. For those exceptions, implementing the practices described above will ensure the finished capsules arrive at the customer ready to leave the best possible impression. Steve Lee is the technical service manager with CapsCanada® Corp. ( Microencapsulated Mineral Salts Directly from the Mineral Specialists with several years of encapsulation experience Advantages • Unique coating procedure • Prevention of interactions with other compounds, e.g. fat oxidation, discoloration • Excellent taste masking properties • Improved stability of final product during processing, transport and storage Application Areas • Dairy products • Bakery goods • Beverages • Dietary supplements • Meat and meat products Toll Free +1 877-4DPL-USA naturalproductsinsider ¡ com 49 CAPSULES

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