Is Banding Your Capsules Necessary?
When consuming medicine and supplements, patients and customers can only hope that they are treating themselves with a trustworthy product that is true to the dosage on its label. Typically speaking, a banded capsule provides a professional look and also guarantee stability within the final product. Banding a capsule also ensures that the active material in a capsule will not leak or seep out, causing a potentially grave improper dosing issue.
What Is Banded Capsule?
Banding is a method whereby capsules are completely sealed with a layer of either gelatin or vegetarian cellulose, depending on the starting capsule’s origin. This is achieved through the application of a ring of liquid gelatin or cellulose, on the external surface of the capsule.
Should I Band My Capsules?
Companies band their capsules in order to prevent the fill material from being exposed to unnecessary air and to prevent leakage. Capsule banding also reduces oxidation of the contents of the capsule, as well as minimizes the odor of the product inside. Once banded, it’s nearly impossible to open and reclose the capsule without leaving evidence of tampering.
Although this technique seems appealing, many question whether or not banding is truly necessary.
In today’s world, banding machines tend to be quite expensive and not as efficient as modern day capsule filling machines. The production speeds of most filling machines are over 3000 capsules an hour, while similarly priced banding machines halt production to a mere 100-300 capsules per hour. So while you are able to produce, for example, 3000 capsules per hour, it will take an additional 10 hours of banding to produce the final product. This downtime alone is significant enough to question whether or not banding is necessary all together. Unless a costly high output capsule bander is utilized, banding significantly slows down production, hurting both small producers and their customers alike. While banding machines with equal output speeds are available, you’ll be spending more money on the banded capsule image than the high output capsule filler itself.
Our team has concluded that the lengthy and time consuming process of banding capsules isn’t worthwhile.
As an alternative, we recommend a few cost effective solutions that guarantee a stable and professional looking final capsule product.
Solution #1 Selecting Carrier Oils Wisely
A common solution to leakage is formula amending. Often, manufacturers will use an excipient or carrier oil to make up for the empty space in a capsule, due to the small dosage of active ingredient. When choosing an excipient oil, one must have its room temperature stability in mind. Oils like coconut oil, which are solid at room temperature, are a perfect carrier oil as the oil will likely solidify within the capsule shell before leakage becomes an issue. Amending a formula to include a solid oil is a very cost effective way to ensure a stable capsule product.
Solution #2 Adding Beeswax to a Formulation
Another great resource is FD&C grade beeswax. When working with ultra fluid fill materials, dissolving beeswax into a formulation is guaranteed to fix any stability or leakage issues that may occur. Beeswax, which is solid at room temperature and is easily melted down into its fluid state, can be mixed in with a formulation to improve its stability. When the dissolved beeswax formulation cools down inside the capsule, it will solidify into a gel instead of a liquid.
The End Result:
By utilizing these aforementioned cost effective banding alternatives, we have accomplished the same goal as a banded capsule product, in a cost effective and efficient manner. Though banding does produce a nice complete final product, the same goal can be achieved with these cost-effective methods. For more information regarding our RoboLQ Liquid capsule filling machines or capsule stability in general, please give us a call at 1(800) 852-9238, or email us at