Nutraceutical Knowledge

Soft Gel Capsule Manufacturing: Process and Its Benefits

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Supplement manufacturers produce products that appeal to the needs of their consumer base.soft gel capsule manufacturing 1.jpg

One of the needs that consumers want and which many supplement manufacturers supply is an appropriate delivery system, such as the soft gel capsule.

The first soft gel was manufactured in 1834 so soft gels are not necessarily a new concept.

In this blog, we look at the soft gel manufacturing process and discuss the advantages of this type of supplement delivery system. 

We are also going to discuss effective pin points you can use to market your softgel.

Advantages of Soft Gels

One of the most advertised benefits of soft gel capsules is that they are easy to swallow, especially for people who have a harder time swallowing pills or tablets.

There are other benefits too such as:

  • Time release technologies 
  • Slow availability of the supplement allowing the capsule to release the product in the correct area of the intestines which acts to increase the bioavailability of the product
  • The creation of a sterile environment that protects the product from contamination once the package is opened.

The list of benefits provided by softgel capsules is long.

The big difference between soft gel capsules and tablets is that with soft gel manufacturing you can offer a liquid product rather than a hard tablet.

This allows the product to be available quickly and that the release designed to fit the supplement. 

What Works Best with Soft Gels?soft gel capsule manufacturing 4.jpg

Fish oil and Omega 3's are  generally the cash cows of softgel manufacturing.

Not every supplement requires a softgel package, but some work better than others when packaged in soft gel capsules.

Those supplements that are the hardest for the body to absorb work the best with soft gel capsule manufacturing.

They include:

  • Coenzyme Q10 which is also marketed at CoQ10 and helps the cells to produce energy
  • Herbal extracts that absorb better when they contain water rather than a solid, such as carotenoids. 
  • Vitamins such as B Vitamins and D vitamins which are slowly absorbed by the body, especially in solid form because the vitamin moves past the stomach and absorption zone in the intestines. 

In terms of marketing, there are many plusses. You can point out that:

  • The product works best when absorbed in the stomach or small intestine and that the soft gel capsule offers a design that allows for the release of the product in the optimal intestinal zone. 
  • Soft gels are easy to swallow
  • The product remains hermetically sealed which provides both a boost to product quality during the shelving process and reduces outside contamination for products that are organic. 

There are many ways to market the advantages of soft gel capsules over that of tablets and those means are specific to the product that you choose to manufacture. 

Shedding light on these things would be an exceptional start branding your soft gel.

How Are Soft Gel Capsules Manufactured? 

The process of manufacturing softgel capsules contains five basic steps with each step being separated by a quality assurance process.

Those steps are as follows:

Step One — The Creation of the Gelatin Syrup.

This process begins with the preparation of the gelatin which turns gelatin powder into a gelatin mass by carefully controlling the temperature and water volume.  

Step Two — Preparation of the non-aqueous oil or paste which is the product plus suspension solution that is designed not to erode the soft gel capsule gelatin.

This is the step where solubility enhancers and the recipe for the product are combined so that they can be encapsulated by the gelatin. 

Step Three — Encapsulation is the third step in the soft gel manufacturing process.

It involves taking the gelatin syrup and coating a specific volume of the non-aqueous oil or paste so that it is contained by the gelatin.

Because the product is in a non-aqueous oil or pastes, it cannot escape the gelatin.

Step Four - Drying of the Gelatin can occur in two ways.

The goal of both is to evaporate extra water in the gelatin without condensing the product.

Some trying machines tumble the soft gel cap gently so that gravity helps to form it into a capsule shape while the water evaporates.

The process shrinks the gelatin outer coating making it less prone to leaking.

The second option for drying soft gel capsules is on a tray.

Some manufacturers use both methods together, while others may use one or the other method. 

Step Five — Cleaning the soft gel capsules.

The cleaning process also acts as a last QA process.

As the capsules are cleaned, they are evaluated for quality.

This process helps to ensure that your customers receive uniformed capsules that are not sticky or malformed. 

The process of manufacturing soft gel capsules is straight forward.

Soft gel capsules help manufacturers enhance the consumer experience either by controlling absorption, especially of those substances that are hard to absorb or by making the comply with customer expectation.

Those might include a product that is easy to consume, sealed to protect against contamination, and that have a longer storage cycle. 

If you are looking for a way to enhance your existing supplements, then consider the benefits of soft gel capsule manufacturing.

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If you are looking at increasing your brand's offering by adding supplements that are harder to absorb, then consider the benefits that soft gel capsules offer, especially those that benefit marketing