The Halal certificated empty gelatin capsule shell is a dietary food supplement, medication and cosmetic product that can be taken to improve health. It is available in various forms such as one-piece soft capsules (soft gel), two-piece hard capsules (hard gel) and liquid supplements.
It is mainly made from bovine or fish gelatin, but other ingredients may also be used. These include stearates, glycerin and tweens from plant sources.
These stearates and tweens are a critical part of the forming, coating and polishing of tablets. They should be obtained from plant-derived sources for halal and kosher products.
Some stearates are made from animal sources, and must be tested for halal authenticity prior to use in halal-certified products. However, there are stearates that are produced from plants, and these can be used in halal products without concern for halal certification.
Other lipids that can be used in tablet-coating materials include sugars and proteins such as zein, which can be sourced from plant sources for halal products.
In addition, ethyl alcohol is widely used as a solvent in liquid formulations. It is a common halal and kosher ingredient for this purpose, but there are restrictions on the amount of alcohol in the final halal finished product. The ethyl alcohol content of the liquid product must be reduced to an insignificant level. This process can be difficult for a manufacturer. It is best to consider using alternative solvents or preservatives for this purpose, and to verify the ethyl alcohol content of the finished halal product with a standardized test kit.