Capsule-filled drugs are generally powders or granules, which are irritating to the esophagus and gastric mucosa or have poor taste, volatile, easily decomposed by saliva in the mouth, and easily inhaled into the airways. These drugs are encapsulated to protect the drugs from damage and to protect the digestive organs and respiratory tract. In addition, some drugs need to be dissolved and absorbed in the intestinal tract, and capsules are a protection against destruction by stomach acid. Capsule filling machine can automatically fill powder/granules/pills into hard capsules.
One of the biggest considerations for pharmaceutical manufacturers is the choice of capsule filling equipment. For soft capsules, a compression die roller with a hopper is typically used to fill the liquid formulation into the pre-formed capsule.
The pressure exerted by the die rollers seals the seams around each soft capsule. The drying time for these capsules can vary from a few hours to several days.
Hard capsules can simply be filled with loose powder or granules and then the two halves are combined. Alternatively, a given weight of powder can be compressed in a mold and inserted into one side of the hard capsule.
Depending on the type of capsule manufactured, storage conditions may vary. As with drying conditions, soft capsules must be stored in a controlled humidity environment to prevent excess moisture from affecting the quality of the finished product.
If moisture is trapped in the capsule storage bag, temperature changes may cause condensation to accumulate inside the bag. Due to the potentially damaging effects of temperature and humidity fluctuations, storage conditions for finished capsules should be clearly defined and monitored.
The final dosage form of your product, and whether it contains liquids, powders or granules, is also an important consideration in capsule manufacturing. Prior to filling, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and other ingredients should be stored according to their ideal environmental conditions.
However, once the fill material is encapsulated, the capsule material should largely determine the drying and storage solution for the final product. Since the capsule forms a protective barrier around the active ingredient inside, only the environmental conditions need to be optimized to maintain the strength and mechanical integrity of the capsule.
A great deal of R&D goes into pharmaceutical formulations, and encapsulation is one of the best forms in terms of bioavailability and ease of delivery. By considering these variables throughout the product development process, pharmaceutical manufacturers can ensure that their capsule filling lines are set up as efficiently as possible.
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