Drug capsule vector illustration.



Hard- and Soft-Shell Capsule Dosage Form Platforms from Plant-Based Sources

Among solid dosage forms, the capsule is second only to the compressed tablet in frequency of use for drug delivery. For pharmaceutical and nutraceutical producers, capsules provide an economic and easy-to-store option, while requiring a minimum number of excipients and process steps for a wide range of capsule sizes.

For hard shell capsules, excipients include:

  • Binders or fillers to improve powder flow and bulk density
  • Disintegrants to quickly release the API
  • Glidant/lubricants to facilitate the capsule filling process.
  • Multiparticulates can be used as fillers (swallowed whole or opened and added to food) for patients with difficulty swallowing.

Our broad and unique portfolio provides all those attributes, both for hard capsules and soft-shell capsules. We’ve honed deep experience over decades to ensure our plant-based ingredients like seaweed and cellulosics enable differentiated and successful capsule formulations that offer you and patients around the world numerous benefits.

Benefits of Capsules:

  • Hard shell capsules provide a tasteless, odorless delivery system without the need for a secondary coating step
  • Patients perceive that swallowing capsules is easier than swallowing tablets
  • Because the contents are contained within the shell, there is no need to form a compact that must stand up to handling in the same sense as a compressed tablet
  • Multiple filling of beads, granules, tablets, powders and pumpable liquids into hard shells provides the formulator with numerous options to design unique delivery systems or simply to separate incompatible substances within the same capsule
  • Liquid filled hard capsules may offer special advantages for formulating poorly soluble drugs, since they could be solubilized or dispersed (in micronized form) in the liquid vehicle
  • In the pharmaceutical capsule manufacturing process, hard shell capsules provide ideal vehicles for dispensing modified-release beads or granules, since these may be filled without the need for a compression step that could rupture or otherwise damage controlled release coatings and thus, undermine the designed-in drug release profile

Here’s how we can help deliver the functionality you need in your capsule shell and fill formulations.

Capsule Shell Formulation

Capsule Type

Product Recommendation

Polymer for hard shell capsules 

Polymer for soft capsules

Capsule Fill Formulation


Product Recommendation

Binder and powder blend flow

Avicel® PH-101, 103, 113, 102, 112, 200, 200LM, 105, 301, 302 Avicel® Co-Processed Grades

Wet binder for granules




Ac-Di-Sol® SD 711 and Ac-Di-Sol® SDW 802



Application Areas

We want to help you be successful in whatever application you are considering, so please contact us if you need more assistance. Our experts are eager to tackle your challenges.


More Dosage Forms

Solutions for the formulation of tablets to support manufacturing complexities – OSD processes, functionality and bioavailability.
Suspensions Solution Hero Banner 2.png
Liquid oral solutions for improved patient experience and compliance with superior taste masking and swallowing properties.
Deliver miniature doses with massive performance in a variety of release profiles and unique drug form combinations.
Additional dosage form solutions include: dissolving medication strips, thin film drug delivery, topical applications and more.

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