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, banded capsules provide 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 Capsule Banding?
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 an equal output speed are available, you’ll be spending more money on the
capsule banding machine 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