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Vegetable Capsule VS Gelatin Capsule

May. 11, 2021

Vegetable Capsule VS Gelatin Capsule

If you take supplements in capsule form, do you know what they are made of? Most capsules (perhaps more than 95% of supplements in capsule form) are gelatin capsules, while others are vegetable capsules.

Have you expected gel comes from animals?

Now, if you are taking supplements in capsule form, the following may arouse your curiosity. Did you know that most of the capsule products are of animal origin? Gelatin capsules come in hard and soft shells. They are usually hydrolyzed from bovine, fish or pig collagen. This has aroused the concern of some groups, such as vegetarians or vegans, and people from certain religious or ethnic groups are prohibited from using these animal products. Fortunately, with the advancement of technology, vegetarian capsules (also known as vegetable capsules or cellulose capsules) are replaceable.

Why gelatin?

The reason is related to its good physical and chemical properties. Specifically, its ease of molding, its stability and its manufacturing cost all play a big role. And because gelatin has such a long history of use, its safety does not seem to be a problem.

Most people associate gelatin with collagen, which is a chewy jelly-like substance that Asians like to eat. They can come from cattle or pigs. Normally, they boil the cartilage, bones and skin for a long time.

You can find beef gelatin, pork gelatin or a mixture of the two in the market. However, you cannot really distinguish them because they look exactly the same. If you are lucky, some companies will appoint you. For example, halal certification may imply that it is made only of beef.

Although gelatin is not the reason for making capsules, it does contain nutrients that are good for skin and joints.

Vegetable capsule

They are made from a special form of cellulose called hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPMC). Sometimes you can see HPMC used in eye drops and oral controlled release drugs. Like gelatin capsules, vegetable capsules can be transparent or opaque. In addition, HPMC is 100% safe to consume.

Vegetable Capsules VS Gelatin Capsules

So which one is better? They look the same and do the same. The only real difference is that vegetable capsules are vegan and they are more expensive. Some companies like to cater to vegetarian customers with vegetable shops, but for most of us, it really doesn’t matter.

Which is better?

Vegetarian capsules are outstanding in terms of stability, because compared with gelatin capsules, it has lower water content, lower hygroscopicity and higher stability in different temperature and humidity ranges. In terms of solubility, both capsules dissolve well at human body temperature (37°C).

The vegetarian capsule is easily soluble in water at room temperature, while the solubility of the gelatin capsule begins to decrease when the temperature is lower than 37°C, and the solubility decreases when the temperature is lower than 30°C. In addition, vegetarian capsules are suitable for holding more filling materials, while gelatin capsules can be easily degraded by aldehyde end products, and most of the materials are in liquid and semi-liquid forms.

Vegetarian Capsule

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