Gelatin is a protein which is an essential component for human consumption and development. It is Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) in pharmaceutical and food consumption by most regulators. It is GMO free, completely natural and non-allergic. Gelatin capsules are usually derived from beef or pork along with water and a plasticizing agent such as glycerine to provide durability. Gelatin capsules have an advantage for both the consumer and the manufacturer.
There are two types of gelatin capsule; hard gelatin capsules used for solid substances and soft gelatin capsules
Gelatin capsules are easy to digest and dissolve within minutes of reaching the stomach for digestion. This ensures that the medicine or supplement within it won’t pass through the consumers digestive system without being absorbed.
The use of soft gel gelatin capsules can increase the bioavailability of poorly absorbed or poorly soluble nutrients, according to the Natural Products Insider website. Through stabilizing, solubilizing and other techniques, manufacturers can enhance the effectiveness of the included nutrients such as herbal remedies and supplements such as coenzyme q10. Many of these methods are not possible with solid materials.
Consuming the Capsule
Because of the smooth texture, gelatin capsules are much easier to consume for some. They also mask any horrible tastes from the supplements inside. Most people hate the taste of fish oil for example but know the benefits it can provide the body, so a capsule alternative is much more convenient.
As gelatin capsules have robust and approved technology, the manufacturing cost of making gelatin shells is low. In contrast, the investment cost of the HPMC technology is quite high and there are complexities involved.