Softgels are one of the most popular types of supplements. If you sell any type of nutritional product, you may be wondering how to make softgel capsules. You may also want to know the benefits of using a softgel capsule manufacturer.
What Are Softgels?
Supplement sellers often want to learn how to make softgel capsules due to the high demand for softgels. Softgels offer several benefits that many consumers appreciate.
- They are easy to swallow. Many people have trouble swallowing tablets.
- Highly digestible. Gelatin dissolves quickly after being swallowed.
- Good bioavailability. Softgel capsules are ideal for making active ingredients available to the body.
- Ideal for targeting precise doses. Compared to other forms such as tablets and liquids, a capsule can deliver a precise dosage of a medication or supplement.
- Unpleasant tastes and odors are masked. As ingredients are sealed within the covering, users can swallow them without noticing odors. This is especially useful for products with strong odors such as fish oil and garlic.
Now let’s look at how to make softgel capsules as well as the option of finding a softgel capsule manufacturer.
Ingredients Needed By a Softgel Capsule Manufacturer
Before you learn how to make softgel capsules, you need all of the necessary ingredients.
- Gelatin or vegetarian substitute. Softgel shells are usually made with gelatin, which is derived from the collagen of animals. Vegan softgels are made from plant-based ingredients such as seaweed or tapioca starch.
- Plasticizer. The shell also contains a plasticizer such as glycerin to provide plasticity, which gives the softgel its flexible texture.
- Filling. This will be the medication, nutrients, or other active ingredients.
- Carrier solution. Active ingredients are placed in liquid solutions. These solutions may include water, oils, and solvents such as diethylene glycol monoethyl ether.
- Coloring agent. You may want to add a natural or synthetic color to softgels.
- Flavoring. Softgels may have sweeteners, essential oils, or other ingredients added to create a more pleasant taste.
- Preservatives to extend the shelf life of softgels.
- Post-preparation additives. A softgel capsule manufacturer may add a protective coating for stability, which may be an alcohol-based solution or a compound such as aldehyde.
How to Make Softgel Capsules: Equipment Needed
In order to make softgels, you need a softgel encapsulation machine, which is able to fill gelatin capsules with liquid or semi-liquid fillings using a process called encapsulation. Softgel encapsulation machines are able to produce precise dosages of the filling, and produce completely airtight capsules, ensuring that no contaminants can enter once the process is complete. Encapsulation machines have many parts, which may include:
- Material tank or medicine hopper to hold the filling material.
- Material feeding pump.
- Injection wedge.
- Mixing tank to prepare the gelatin or other shell.
- Cooling drum to cool and solidify the gelatin web. The machine may also have a refrigeration system to maintain the proper temperature.
- Lubrication rollers to protect the gelatin skin. Drying system.
Encapsulation machines are available in a variety of sizes and production capacities. It’s essential to find a model that meets appropriate quality standards such as CGMP, or Current Good Manufacturing Practice, as regulated by the FDA.
How to Make Softgel Capsules: Steps Involved
Once you have all the ingredients and a suitable machine, you need to complete the following steps.
- Melts all gelatin ingredients so the gelatin is liquified.
- Gather the filling material. All ingredients must be mixed together to form a paste or liquid. If you are preparing the fill ingredients yourself, you may need additional equipment such as a pharma oven, hammer mill, or a fluid bed processor.
- Place the fill material into the hopper on the softgel encapsulation machine. will bring together the fill material and shell to form the softgel capsules. The material is pushed to the injection wedge by a pump. From there, it is injected into die cavities and the gelatin ribbons are sealed around the fill material.
- The drying process. Softgel capsules must be allowed to dry so any excess moisture is removed. Most encapsulation machines will have a built-in tumble dryer. After the capsules are tumble dried, place them on drying trays.
How to Make Softgel Capsules: QC, Cleaning, and Packaging
After the softgels have been created, there are a few additional steps involving quality control, cleaning, and packaging.
- Inspect the softgels. Even the best machines may produce some damaged or misshapen softgels that should be discarded.
- Clean and polish the softgels to remove any debris. This can be done manually or with a softgel polishing machine.
- For branding, you can also use a softgel printing machine that will imprint your logo on the softgels.
- Pack the softgels. A capsule packing machine can do this quickly.
Benefits of Finding a Softgel Capsule Manufacturer
Learning how to make softgel capsules can be difficult and expensive. You need the right equipment and facilities as well as know-how. One alternative is to use a softgel capsule manufacturer that can handle these tasks.
- Save time and effort. A softgel capsule manufacturer handles all aspects of production and packaging, saving you the effort of learning how to make softgel capsules yourself.
- Quality control. A softgel capsule manufacturer is familiar with the safety and quality control standards required to produce supplements.
- Lower cost. The equipment and facilities needed to create softgels are expensive. A softgel capsule manufacturer has everything needed for the process.
Making quality nutritional supplements in softgel form can be profitable, whether you learn how to make softgel capsules yourself or you find a reputable supplement manufacturer. If you’re looking for an experienced partner with the expertise to create quality supplements, contact NutraPak USA.