Nutralab Canada is about to engage in the very ambitious step of enteric coating of hard capsules. Trials will be run in the coming weeks on this very technically challenging process.
Working alongside our suppliers of enteric coating raw materials, we will put together a production plan to take into consideration the many challenges involved with coating a hard capsule. The process that we will use, involves the initial spraying of a sub-coating onto the hard capsule. This allows us to avoid the step of seal banding that is used in most enteric coating procedures of hard capsules as there will no leakage of the enteric coating into the two-piece capsule.
The avoidance of seal banding is both advantageous from both a time and equipment standpoint in multiple areas. For one, a seal banding machine is not needed in the production process. Secondly, an extra processing step is avoided in that the sub-coating and enteric coating processes are seamless and don’t require the removal of the coated product from the coating machine to place on another. Thirdly, there is a lack of set-up that would be involved with a banding machine. Lastly, there isn’t the waiting period that one would have with transferring the enteric coating to drying racks after enteric coating.
Once the sub-coating has been applied, then the enteric coating can be added within minutes since the sub-coating is a quick dry substance. After the enteric coating, the hard capsules are dried just like tablets or soft gels, ready for bottling and packaging.
Once trials are successfully completed on this process, we will be sure to add an enteric coating of hard capsules to our production capabilities. In fact, given the relatively low cost of encapsulation, this may provide a high value added for customers wishing to create innovative products where intestinal track digestion is paramount to a product’s efficacy.