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March 2020

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What Size and Type of Capsule Should I Use?

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   When encapsulating products, there are several factors to consider, from machinery to formulation. Two of the most common questions are simply: “What size and type of capsule should I use?” 

What Capsule Size Should I Use?

   First, we’ll go into the size of the capsule. This will vary from product to product based on the density of your formula, how well it flows, if it makes a good slug in the dosing station, etc.. Ultimately you’ll want to test before settling on a capsule size for a product. This is especially true if the amount needed sits in the middle of two capsule sizes.

   In order to determine what capsule size you need, we recommend using a slug tester. TES has these and can recommend a capsule size for the requested dose. Ask our salesmen about that when browsing machinery. Beyond that, many of the capsule vendor reps have slug testers as well, so feel free to check with them as well. 

  Lastly, if you’re in the planning stages of starting to produce and want a rough estimate on what will work, here’s a chart of average amounts of product we’ve found fit into capsules. Sizes listed are those supported by TES machines.

Capsule Size 00 0 1 2 3
Average Capacity (mg) 735 500 400 300 200

What Size and Type of Capsule Should I Use?

Gelatin or Veggie Capsules?

   Next, let’s look at the primary differences in gelatin and vegetarian, or veggie, capsules from a manufacturer’s point of view. 

   Gelatin capsules have been the standard for a long time, and are made from gelatin and water. It’s the same material in Jell-O. Because they’re more common, these capsules are typically cheaper than Veggie options, and get the job done. 

   Veggie capsules are becoming more widely used to cater to consumers that are vegetarian or vegan. This is because there’s no animal byproduct in them, as opposed to the gelatin caps. It doesn’t matter as much for powered products, but it is notable that veggie caps are also able to hold more gel-like products without breaking down. (Full liquids require capsules specifically made for those materials)

   In short, for powder manufacturing, unless you expect a large vegan consumer base of your product, for the most part the type doesn’t matter. Brand to brand you may have preferences, as those can be more specific once you get them on machines, but gelatin to veggie doesn’t affect the actual encapsulation process much at all. 

I hope this helps answer your question about “What size and type of capsule should I use?”

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