Capsules are an important part of daily health management. But recently a question has arisen about whether the capsules you are using are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Capsule shells can be divided into vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources by source. Gelatin capsule shells are usually of animal origin, and HPMC or starch-based shells are of vegetarian origin.

Capsules are a dosage form in medicines that are common in our daily health management. Capsules consist of gelatin (hard or soft) and non-gelatin shells, usually derived from animal sources or cellulose-based collagen hydrolysis (acidic, alkaline, enzymatic, or thermal hydrolysis).

In terms of origin, gelatin capsules are usually of animal origin. For vegetarians, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and starch capsule shells have religious and food preference advantages.

The integrity of the HPMC hard shell is less dependent on moisture content, so cells are resistant to breakage even in dry conditions. HPMC shells have a low moisture content of about 2%–6% and are less hygroscopic than their corresponding hard gelatin capsule shells. The low hygroscopicity of the HPMC shell and therefore low moisture transfer to the encapsulating material is a great advantage for improving the stability of drug products in capsules. Another advantage of HPMC shells is that polar and hygroscopic solvents in the fill formulation are less likely to migrate to the capsule shell or interact with the shell material. Compared to gelatin, HPMC is a nonionic polymer with less variability in compatibility with most encapsulation materials and the aldehyde impurities present in them.

One limitation of the HPMC capsule shell is its high oxygen permeability due to its loose structure, which requires caution with oxygen-sensitive compounds. This oxidative damage can be prevented by adding antioxidants to fill formulations or packaging capsules in an antioxidant configuration, such as foil blister packs. So in this regard, empty HPMC capsules are very ideal capsule coating materials.

Xinchang Hexin Capsule Co., Ltd. is Clear Vegetarian Capsules Supplier, producing and selling Empty HPMC Capsules, and Empty Gelatin Capsules.