The Difference Between Each Type of Capsule
We have created a guide to show the difference between the capsules we have to offer. On our online store we offer Gelatin, Pullulan and HPMC derived empty capsules in all standard sizes. We only however currently offer our Pullulan (Vegetable) capsules in sizes #00, #0 and #1
In the video below we have created an overview of the capsules in our range and the difference between them to help you decide between your different options.
Benefits of Hard Caps
There are many advantages of using hard caps instead of tablets or raw powders. Some of the benefits are:
They can be used to mask the unpleasant tastes or powders by creating a layer around the ingredients
They allow powders to be dispensed in an uncompressed form unlike when compressed into tablets
They give versatility to prepare any doses easily comparatively to formulating a tablet that flows and binds correctly
Due to their shape and texture people often find them easier than pills to swallow
Depending on the ingredients and type of capsule they can be used to create halal and or kosher formulations
HPMC and Vegetable capsules are suitable for a wide variety of dietary requirements including Vegans and Vegetarians
Our vegetable capsules are derived from Tapioca starch known as Pullulan. They can be used to create organically certifiable formulations
Due to the skin they create around the ingredients capsules formulations can be created to have a longer shelf life than tablets
Which Size Capsules Are Right For Me?
The most common size capsule used for food supplements are 00 capsules. However there are a total of 10 standardised sizes. We stock the most common 8 sizes but do not stock as standard #00E and #0E which are "extended" versions of #00 and #0. We can source these by request.
The right size for you is dependent on the final use of the capsule as well as the amount of active ingredients and excipients that will be used in your formulation. The reason 0 and 00 are the most commonly used is because they are large whilst still being easy to swallow.
Empty vegetarian capsules, HPMC capsules and gelatin capsule sizes are all standardized across the world. They may vary very slightly between different manufacturers however. It is always best to test that the capsules you purchase work in your filing application if purchasing from a different supplier to your equipment.
As we said before the correct capsule for each situation depends on the application and how much ingredients ultimately needs to end up in each capsule. This is why we have created a capsule size guide to help you work out which size of empty capsule is the right size for you.
The video below is a guide to the right capsule for you. Please keep in mind the density of your powder will dictate how much weight you will get in each capsule. For more details please watch our video on bulk density.
Gelatin Capsules vs. HPMC Capsules vs. Vegetable Capsules
There are 3 main types of capsules available. Your choice will depend on your requirements for your final formulation. The main difference between Gelatin, HPMC and Vegetable capsules is what ingredient they are derived from. But there is also a change in the cost per unit.
Two-piece capsules have been made from gelatin since they were originally patented by James Murdock in 1847. Gelatin (also spelt Gelatine) is an animal protein which what know as Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) in pharmaceutical and food consumption by the majority of international regulatory bodies.
Our empty gelatin capsules are GMO free and derive from completely natural sources. Gelatin capsules are usually derived from beef or pork along with water and a plasticizing agent such as glycerine to provide durability. Gelatin is an essential component for human consumption and development.
HPMC capsules are manufactured from Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose and is globally referred to also as “Hypromellose”.
HPMC is derived from plant cellulose and was one of the first alternatives available for vegetarians. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose rose to popularity in the early 2000s as it proved to be a stable polymer with a low moisture content that makes it suitable for moisture-sensitive ingredients. It is also extremely resistant to higher than average heat and humidity.
Our vegetable capsules or "veggie caps" as they are often referred to are manufacture out of tapioca extract. The benefits of empty veggie capsules over HPMC capsules is mainly how comfortable your customers or whoever is consuming the capsules are with which ever source they are consuming.
Our vegetable capsules offer a balance of performance within high output capsule manufacturing and clean label ingredients for health conscious manufacturers and consumers. Made from tapioca which is naturally fermented into pullulan, a starch-free vegetarian capsule, our Veggie capsules speak to the needs of the most discerning consumers.
We have created a comparison table to easily see the different types of empty capsules we provide are suitable for the most common dietary requirements. We also show the difference in cost of each type.
|Capsule Material||Gelatin Capsules||HPMC Capsules||Vegetable Capsules|
|Manufactured From||Beef or Pork||Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose||Tapioca|
|Suitable for Vegetarians||✘||✔||✔|
|Suitable for Vegans||✘||✔||✔|
*depending on ingredients used in the capsules. All products must be certified by a 3rd party
Capsule Size Chart
|Empty Capsule Size|
|Empty Capsule Weight (Gelatin)|
|Average Weight (mg)||158||143||123||107||99||78||61||48||38||28|
|Empty Capsule Weight (Vegetarian)|
|Average Weight (mg)||163||152||136||107||105||79||63||50||40||30|
|Empty Capsule Volume Capacity (ml)|
|Empty Capsule Weight Capacity by Formulation Density (mg)|
|Empty Capsule Overall Closed Length|
|Empty Capsule Individual Lengths (cap)|
|Empty Capsule Individual Lengths (body)|
|Empty Capsule External Diameter|
|Empty Capsule Quantity Per Case|
|Capsules per box||50,000||65,000||75,000||90,000||100,000||125,000||175,000||200,000||250,000||350,000|
Standard Empty Capsules Box Sizes
We offer different quantities of packet sizes from 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 as well as in wholesale quantities.
When buying wholesale quantities each type of capsules whether Gelatin, HPMC or Vegetable come in 1 standard box size. The quantity of capsules in each box changes depending on the size as the volume of the box stays the same. We have created a table below to show the dimensions of the box as well as the quantity of capsules in each.
|Units||Height (H) mm/inches||Depth (D) mm/inches||Width (W) mm/inches|
|Metric (mm)||730 mm||397 mm||600 mm|
|Inches||28 3/4"||15 5/8"||23 5/8"|
|Capsule Size||Quantity In Standard Box|