Pharmaceutical Industry

Indispensable Incipient in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Modern Gelatin

PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY

HALAL GELATIN® Gelatin has been used for decades as an indispensable incipient in the pharmaceutical industry.

It is particularly suitable due to its film forming qualities, its thermo-reversible gelation and its adhesion. The most important applications for pharmaceutical Gelatin are capsule manufacture and vitamin embedding.

Gelatin capsules are an elegant and widely used drug dosage form. They enable liquid and pasty drugs to be administered simply and safely. At the same time, drugs in capsules have a high degree of bioavailability. Capsules also enable pharmaceutical active ingredients to be kept stable and protected from light and atmospheric oxygen. Depending on the drug involved, hard or soft capsules are used. Liquid or pasty fillings based on oil are normally prepared in soft capsules whilst hard capsules are preferred for powders.

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HARD CAPSULES

Hard capsules are made of pure gelatin with a water content of 10 to 15 %. They are mostly produced containing dyes. They are produced by an immersion technique and subsequently provided to the pharmaceutical industry as empty shells stuck together. In a separate process, they are then reopened, filled with powder or granulate and reclosed.

SOFT CAPSULES

Soft capsules are produced in a single production step, filled and then closed off. The name soft capsule is used as the shell of the capsule contains plasticizers in addition to the gelatin. The actual degree of softness and elasticity depends on the type and amount of plasticizer used, the residual moistness and the thickness of the capsule shell. The soft capsule shells are generally somewhat thicker than hard capsule shells. Glycerol, sorbitol or a combination of both are common plasticizers.

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MICRO CAPSULES

To reduce the risks involved when using formaldehyde, agar was associated with gelatin as the wall matrix materials of micro capsules as it could cross link with gelatin to give a gel network in the micro capsules formation. Here we report the development, characterization and safe use of agar–gelatin micro capsules. We further demonstrate that both oral and topical applications are possible using the berberine HCl and gallic acid loaded micro capsules respectively. Micro capsules containing both drugs were prepared combining the optimal parameters identified.

BLOOD PLASMA SUBSITURE

In emergency medicine, products based on gelatin are frequently used to make up blood volume after exceptional blood loss. Special types of gelatin are used for these plasma expanders; the pharmaceutical companies treat them thermally or enzymatically or even modify them chemically before placing them in sterile ready-to-use packs.

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Prescription Drugs

VITAMIN COATINGS

Gelatin plays a special role in the formulation of stable and administration-friendly forms of vitamins based on oil (A + E) for humans and for animal fodder. Finely distributed vitamin A or E drops in an aqueous gelatin solution can be converted to a free-flowing powder using a special setting and drying process. The powder then remains easily dispersible in aqueous solution. In addition, by providing the vitamins with a coating of special gelatin, they remain stable and are protected from the effects of light and atmospheric oxygen.

VACCINES

Gelatin also plays a major role in the production of life-saving vaccines – for example those against the H1N1 virus that is responsible for the infamous swine flu of recent years. With gelatin, we provide the pharmaceutical industry with a collagen peptide that has been optimized for the stabilization of vaccines and has been used by leading manufacturers in the development of the H1N1 vaccines.

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BLOOD-STANCHING SPONGES

In emergency medicine, products based on gelatin are frequently used to make up blood volume after exceptional blood loss. Special types of gelatin are used for these plasma expanders; the pharmaceutical companies treat them thermally or enzymatic ally or even modify them chemically before placing them in sterile ready-to-use packs.