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Use of sodium alginate in the preparation of gelatin-based hard capsule shells and their evaluation in vitro

Abbasiliasi, Sahar, Shun, Tan Joo, Tengku Ibrahim, Tengku Azmi, Ismail, Nurdiana, Ariff, Arbakariya B., Mokhtar, Nurfadhilah Khairil, Mustafa, Shuhaimi
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.28 pp. 16147-16157
ash content, cattle, color, gastric juice, gelatin, mixing, pH, polyethylene glycol, sodium alginate, titanium dioxide, viscosity, water content, water holding capacity
Using only type B gelatin produces hard capsule shells which are too brittle. This study examines the blending of type B bovine gelatin with sodium alginate to produce hard capsule shells and through evaluation of their in vitro physicochemical properties provides a reflection on the role of gelatin and sodium alginate in the blend. The compositions and formulation of the capsule shells in this study comprised gelatin (10%, 20% and 30%), sodium alginate (1%, 2%, 3%, 4% and 5%), water, and opacifying agents (titanium dioxide; TiO₂) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) whose concentrations were kept constant. From the 15 films prepared, five were found to form hard capsule shells. Increased concentrations of sodium alginate increased the viscosity of the blends accompanied by capsule thickening. There was a good molecular compatibility between gelatin and sodium alginate. Increased gelatin and sodium alginate concentrations increased the water-holding capacity of the film, which decreased the redness (a*), lightness (L*), blueness (b*), variation in the color parameters (ΔE*) and the whiteness index (WI). The weight of the capsule shells ranged between 0.080 g and 0.25 g and the moisture content was between 5% and 11%. Ash contents for all the formulations were below 5% and the sensitivity of capsules at pH 7 was higher than that at acidic pH. Highest rupture times were observed with simulated gastric fluid (SGF, pH 1) for all formulations. Increased gelatin concentration decreased the resistance of the capsule to force while increased sodium alginate concentration had no effect on resistance to force.