Many people take dietary supplements, vitamins, and other nutritional products as a part of their daily routine, which helps them maintain a healthy diet and improve their overall wellbeing. However, some may encounter challenges with supplements purchased at retail or online and the lack of control over their ingredients. Hard shell gelatin capsules (not to be confused with liquid gel capsules) are an excellent option for those who are looking to take control of their nutrition and well-being, and they present an excellent opportunity for supplement manufacturers.
In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:
- What are gelatin capsules used for?
- What are the different ways to fill gelatin capsules?
- Where can I buy gelatin capsules?
Hard gelatin capsules remain the favorable choice for administering oral pharmaceuticals and have also found significant use in the booming health supplement industry, specifically in two sectors.
Gelatin Capsule Supplements for General HealthA popular segment of the gelatin capsule supplement market are vitamin and herbal supplements that support general well-being and health. These supplements include:
- Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and maintain strong and healthy bones.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are essential fats the body can’t naturally make, so they are obtained from diet or supplements. They are vital for health and cognitive function and fight inflammation.
- Probiotics, which are “good” bacteria that support a healthy gut. Probiotics improve digestive health (central to all health) and boost immunity.
- Vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system while being essential for tissue health.
- Calcium, which is necessary for healthy bones and teeth as well as heart, muscle, and nerve function.
- Magnesium, a mineral that is vital for many body processes such as regulating muscle and nerve function and promotes the creation of protein, bone, and DNA.
Gelatin Capsule Supplement Manufacturing
The process of manufacturing supplements using gelatin capsules involves several key steps. This method is popular for its convenience, versatility, and ability to create a user-friendly product. The following is an overview of the process:
- Formulation: The first step in manufacturing supplements is developing a specific formulation. This involves selecting the active ingredients for the product, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, or other ingredients. Each formulation is designed to provide specific health benefits. These ingredients must be carefully chosen for their efficacy, bioavailability, and safety.
- Raw Material Procurement: Once the formulation is ready, manufacturers source high-quality raw materials from trusted suppliers. It's crucial to ensure that these raw materials are pure, safe, and meet all quality standards.
- Raw Material Testing: The received raw materials are then tested for quality and purity. They are checked for contaminants and to verify that they meet the specified standards.
- Mixing: The raw materials are then mixed together in specific doses according to the formula. This process ensures that each capsule contains the right amount of each ingredient.
- Encapsulation: The mixed supplement is then filled into gelatin capsules. These capsules are made from gelatin derived from collagen, a protein found in animal tissues. Gelatin capsules are popular because they're easy to swallow, break down quickly in the stomach, and are cost-effective. The capsule can be filled with either powder, liquid, or even tiny beads or tablets (in the case of multi-particulate or multi-layer capsules).
Different Ways to Fill Gelatin Capsules
You can be flexible in your method of filling your own gelatin capsules. Depending on the production output, you have several options of capsule filling machines to choose from. Listed below are different machines that can fill capsules.
Manual Capsule Fillers for Small-Scale Production
Manual capsule fillers are devices that allow you to fill capsules with no electricity or automation and are ideal for small scale production or personal use. These can range from simply designed tray configurations to slightly more heavy-duty stainless steel desktop machines.
Here’s how it works:
- Capsule Separation: Capsules need to be separated before they can be filled with material. Depending on the capsule filler, you might have to manually separate the capsules yourself, or it might have a separation mechanism as part of the design.
- Filling the Capsule: After separation, the materials are poured over the empty capsule bodies (the longer part of capsule). Shaking the tray can help the material fill the bodies evenly, and some manual capsule fillers might come with a tamping tool to help compact the product into the bodies.
- Rejoining the Capsule: After the bodies are filled, the capsule caps (the shorter part of capsule) are inserted onto the bodies. This is done by either manually pressing a tray with the caps against the other tray with bodies, or by a mechanism in the filler itself.
- Filled Capsule Ejection: The filled capsules are then removed from the machine by hand and collected.
Manual capsule fillers are a cost-effective solution for low volume production, and they allow a high level of control over the filling process.
Automatic and Semi-Automatic Capsule Fillers for Mid-Scale Production
If you are looking for a higher speed and size of production, an automatic machine or semi-automatic capsule filler is the best choice. Unlike manual capsule fillers, these machines automate the process, increasing productivity and improving the accuracy and consistency of the finished product.
The following is what the process entails:
- Capsule Loading: Empty capsules are loaded into the machine from a hopper and are then separated by a vacuum system.
Capsule Filling: From a different hopper, the machine uses a dosing mechanism to measure the amount of the product into the body of the capsule.
- Capsule Closing: After the body is filled with the product, the machine reunites the two parts of the capsule by inserting the caps over the bodies.
- Ejecting of Filled Capsule: A mechanism in the machine then pushes the filled capsules out of the machine.
For mid-scale production, an automatic capsule filling machine can greatly increase efficiency and consistency. The level of automation can vary with different machines; semi-automatic machines may require some manual input or oversight, while fully automatic machines require minimal human intervention once the process starts. The choice between semi-automatic and fully automatic machines will depend on the scale of production and the resources of the operation.
Automatic Capsule Fillers for Full-Scale Production
Fully automatic capsule filling machines are used for high-capacity, high-speed capsule production, and are typically used by large pharmaceutical companies and supplement manufacturers. These machines automate the entire process, ensuring a high level of precision and efficiency, while reducing the amount of labor required.
Similar to mid-scale production capsule fillers, these machines have the same process:
One of the main advantages of these full-scale automatic machines is their speed– they can produce tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of capsules per hour, depending on the machine's capacity. They also allow for extensive customization in terms of capsule size, fill material, and dosage, making them a versatile solution for large-scale production needs.
These machines represent a significant investment, but for large-scale operations, they can greatly enhance productivity, accuracy, and consistency, while also reducing labor costs.
Are you wondering where to buy high quality gelatin capsules that are immediately available at competitive pricing and always stocked? Vivion can help.
Gelatin capsules are a classic option that are easy to use and perfect for a variety of dietary supplements. Our gelatin capsules offer unique benefits, and they can all be easily filled with ingredients of your choice, providing you with a customized solution to supplementing your diet. We also supply empty gelatin capsules in a wide range of sizes, from as small as 5 to as large as 000.
In light of the growing, proactive interest in personal health and wellness, manufacturers have a significant opportunity to meet the rising demand for nutritional supplements. Producing supplements with high-quality gelatin capsules can help businesses tap into this market and provide customers with the resources they need to take control of their health.
Enhance your manufacturing process and invest in the production of supplements with our high-quality gelatin capsules. Don’t miss out on this opportunity in the dietary supplement market, and contact a Vivion account manager today.