Encapsulating Liquids is an Art and a Science
Although most liquids can be encapsulated in either a gelatin or vegetarian capsule, the reality is that encapsulating liquids is often an art and a science. The results depend heavily on the formulation, the quality of the formulation, and a range of production-related variables.
This is why it is always best to order a small quantity of capsules and do some testing before you pull the trigger on a large capsule order. Until you test it, it’s hard to predict how your formulation and equipment will perform.
The Different Capsule Types
In determining which type of capsule is best for your liquid encapsulation needs, you first need to understand some of the basic benefits that each provides:
- Gelatin Capsules have been the industry standard for decades. They offer the fastest disintegration time, and come in the broadest range of colors. They can be used for encapsulating powders and liquids, but are not always the best choice for oils. Because they are derived from animal products, they are not suitable for all diets.
- Vegetarian Capsules are 100% plant derived, so they are suitable for most diets. Vegetarian capsules’ greater rigidity makes them particularly well-suited for liquids, and their stability characteristics make them the best choice for oils. They can be used for powders as well. Vegetarian capsules take a few minutes longer to disintegrate than gelatin capsules.
- Enteric Capsules are vegetarian capsules that have a pH-sensitive polymer incorporated into the shell. This makes them acid-resistant by design. Enteric capsules pass through the stomach intact, and then disintegrate one to two hours later when they reach the small intestine.
- Flavored Capsules are gelatin capsules that have delicious flavors and pleasing matching scents. They offer all the same other benefits as other gelatin capsules.
What’s the Best Choice – Gelatin or Vegetarian?
While you can encapsulate liquids in gelatin capsules, it can be tricky. For successful results, the formulation must have the right viscosity, and the capsule must be banded.*
HPMC vegetarian capsules are much more tolerant of your formulation. The more recommended option is to use a banded HPMC capsule to encapsulate liquids or oils.
Still Have Questions? We’re Here To Help!
Give us a call at 866.536.2277 or drop us an email. We’ll be happy to discuss your encapsulation needs. Ready to purchase your capsules? Head on over to Capsuline.com for the best selection of empty capsules in the industry.
* “Banding” refers to a process whereby the filled capsule is rolled through a liquid bath of gelatin (or HPMC, in the case of vegetarian capsules), resulting in a ring of material sealing the seam between the body and cap.