Why Use Vegetarian Capsules
Captek Softgel International Inc. is now fully licensed to commercialize the SeaGel® Soft Capsule Technology, a vegetarian capsule that is a homogeneous, thermo-reversible gel film containing Kappa-2 Carrageenan. But what makes this breakthrough technology so important and why should you even consider vegetarian capsules as an alternative?
We asked this question to Paul Hwang, Director of Quality and Regulatory at Captek Softgel International to further explain vegetarian capsules and their significance. The following is his answer:
Context is everything for most words in communication; out of context, the word may have as many meanings as there are interpreters. Take the word “bricking” for instance: for one in construction, this word defines the act of laying a path, wall, etc. with bricks, a rectangular red building block of clay; for the savvy 21st century electronics consumer, this means a dead i-pod, smartphone, tablet, or any other such product due to a firmware/hardware malfunction; and for those in the softgel industry, a bottle or a case, a container, of clumped product resulting from less than ideal storage conditions.
The softgel industry had identified this sensitivity of softgels to extreme temperatures and moisture conditions as an area for improvement, hence developing a shell matrix composed of hydrocolloids more withstanding under extreme temperatures and less reactive with water. Coincidentally, this shell matrix was derived from components of non-animal origin. With the variety of pros this technology had to offer insofar as associated product certification as well as aforementioned items, Captek Softgel International, Inc. recognized the value in developing this technology to work out the cons.
In the effort to fine-tune this technology and hone the associated in-house skills and expertise, Captek had self-funded a dedicated project, investing in months of Research and Development, engineering, and all trial costs. The result was Captek’s offering of a new softgel product line, a FMC licensed non-animal shell matrix, fully compliant with the highest quality standards Captek routinely operates and manufactures against. This in-house development permits manufacture of product under operational conditions more favorable to fill components than historically associated with non-animal softgel manufacture; oxygen permeability studies carried out by FMC indicates that their Seagel® shell matrix provides an enhanced oxygen barrier for capsule fill components as compared to animal based gelatin, unlike the findings evaluating other non-animal shell matrices; and the verified capability of stable product manufacture of varying sizes ranging from small ovals to large oblongs, colors ranging from clear to natural colorants, and degree of fill complexity of up to complex multi-component paste formulations.
Captek’s fully installed two lines commercially manufacturing non-animal softgel products is a means for the dietary supplement industry to explore further the pros of this non-animal technology while having minimized the cons. In context, softgel products are offered the option to store and travel better, including passage through tropical zones, supplement the vegan diet, and fulfill Halal requirements not permitting the use of typical animal derived gelatin, all on an improved pricing stability stemming from abundance of Seagel® supply.