Capsule shells can be made of 2 different types, gelatin and cellulose. Gelatin is an animal by-product which is high in collagen, whilst cellulose is of plant origin and has no known potential health hazards even when taken for long periods of time.
Traditionally, gelatin is used in capsule production because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture. It has been used for many years and is available commercially in a range of colours, sizes and flavours.
There is a wide variety of gelatin capsules available for encapsulating solid powdered drug formulations, nutraceuticals and other products. These are mainly hard gelatine, although soft gelatine capsules are also available for encapsulating aqueous liquids and slurries.
Vegetarian caps can be a good choice for manufacturers who are seeking to cater for a wider market base or for people with religious restrictions which prohibit the consumption of products from animals. Vegetarian capsules can be made of a variety of materials including HPMC and Pullulan.
Take essential oils internally with these enteric-coated empty vegetable capsules that are designed to reach the intestine before releasing contents. Each capsule holds about 14 drops of oil, and is a great option for vegetarians and vegans.
Vegetarian and HPMC capsules are becoming more popular, especially with those who have specific dietary restrictions. They are easy to encapsulate, fast dissolving in the stomach and can be absorbed by the body without affecting gastrointestinal functions.