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Manufacture Drug Delivery, Ingredients, Formulation, Dosage Forms, Small Molecules

The Great Gelatin Debate

Gelatin has been used for decades on a large scale across many industry sectors. Owing its popularity to its multiple functionalities and nutritional profile, it has huge application potential in the manufacture of various food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. However, similarly to other ingredients of animal origin, gelatin has attracted the attention of vegetarian and vegan consumers, who are increasingly demanding animal-free substitutes. As far as capsules are concerned, for example, a number of plant-based excipients are becoming available on the market for the formulation of vegan shells. Despite the initial appeal of these vegan substitutes, manufacturers argue that gelatin remains the safest, and most convenient functional ingredient with a decade long background of research and application history that no other non-animal protein can offer. Moreover, none of the vegan-friendly excipients can offer a clean label status, which represents a real challenge when it comes to meeting other consumer trends. In light of recent developments, gelatin still represents the most viable choice for capsule formulation. Allow me to explain my view.

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About the Author

Bjorn Vergauwen

Bjorn Vergauwen is Principal Scientist, at Rousselot Expertise Center, Ghent, Belgium.

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