Liquid Filled Capsule Vs Soft Gel

Advantages Of Liquid Filled Capsules Over Soft Gels

These are some of the benefits of Liquid Filled Capsules (HPMC / Gelatin) over soft gelatin capsules for our products (List Enclosed) which are detailed hereunder:

The merit of filling two-piece HPMC / Gelatin capsules with liquids is usually compared to soft gelatin capsules (soft gels). There are significant differences between the dosage forms, but they should be viewed as complementary rather than competing technologies.

The formulation usually dictates the most appropriate capsule type, but in cases where the formulation allows a choice, hard capsules have several advantages over soft gels.

HPMC Capsules are vegetarian where as Gelatine is of animal origin.

Water Content  The soft gel shell has far higher water content than the hard-capsule shell which is not acceptable for moisture sensitive products.

Plasticizers – Soft gels contain plasticizers (usually Glycerol or Sorbitol) which can migrate into the contents of the capsules or can aid migration of the filled material into the shell. The HPMC / Gelatine used in hard capsule shells contain no plasticizer.

Fill Vehicles – Thermo softening vehicles (melting at above 35 degrees C) are not acceptable for soft gel filling. Hard capsules can be filled at up to 75 degrees C offering a wider range of suitable excipients, particularly for controlled release formulations.

Microbial Growth– Soft gels are more susceptible to microbial growth due to higher moisture content.

Shell permeability – Soft gels are more susceptible to moisture and gas transmission and can be an issue to oxidation sensitive products. This is caused mainly by the presence of plasticizers in soft gels which create channels in the shell that are larger than those found in hard capsules.

Coating- Hard capsules are generally regarded as being easier to coat (e.g. Enteric coating) than soft gels.

Intellectual property of shell – Liquid formulations may require a formulation of the shell itself. If this is contracted out to a soft gel manufacturer, intellectual property rights to the shell typically remain with the contract manufacturer, therefore limiting the possibility of changing manufacturers. This is not applicable for hard capsules which do not require reformulation of the shell.

Solvent – Soft Capsules are washed either with Benzene / Kerosene or any other organic solvent after filling operation which leaves traces of the solvent on the capsules which is not required for hard capsules.

Vegetarian Liquid-Filled Capsule That Has Numerous Advantages Over Soft Gels

As more and more consumers look for ‘all-natural’ products without any by-products, manufacturers are seeking new ways to add consumer benefit claims to their products so that they stand out on the shelf.

In fact, in Europe many consumers specifically seek out E-numbers on labels, which are used throughout the EU to refer to additives. While E-numbers are   also used for natural additives, the over riding consumer perception is that   E-numbers are undesirable and are best avoided.

That’s where liquid-filled V caps® vegetable capsules come in, not only do they offer all the advantages of a liquid product, but they also appeal to consumers seeking ‘all-natural’ products, vegetarians and those with specific   cultural needs.

And, unlike soft gels that contain starch and pasticizers, such as glycerine and sorbitol, liquid-filled V caps allow you to have a ‘clean’ label and make these important product claims:

  • Starch-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No Additives
  • No Preservatives

13 products with a gluten-free claim, all of which also had a no additives or preservatives claim 49 products with a vegetarian claim, of which 55% also made a no additives or preservatives claim.

These combinations of claims are not possible with soft gels or vegetarian soft gels!

Having ‘starch’ on an ingredient label is typically undesirable since starches are a source of gluten, which many consumers want to or need to avoid.