The Science and Art Behind Soft Gel Capsules

Science and Art Behind the Soft Gel Capsule

The world, it seems, has a quickly growing appetite for soft gel dietary supplements. Per year, Nutrilite™ alone sells about a billion soft gels. We’re actually building a new facility to meet this growing demand, currently under construction at an Amway complex in Ada, Michigan.

Why has the demand grown so much, so fast?

Some popular and highly beneficial dietary supplements, such as fish oil omega-3, must be taken in liquid form to be effective. Soft gels are a convenient, palatable way for consumers to take these supplements. The gel shell also stabilizes the liquids and gives the supplements longer shelf life.

For some supplements, it’s better for your body.

Other supplements, such as Nutrilite® CoEnzyme Q10 Complex, start out as powders but the body best absorbs them as a suspension (that is, tiny particles suspended in liquid).

To provide you with the most satisfying experience while delivering the the highest quality ingredients, Nutrilite makes CoEnzyme Q10 Complex supplements in soft gel form.

Soft gels also allow for more precise dosing.

Soft gel capsules are difficult to tamper with because any tampering will cause the shells to leak or discolor.

Consumers increasingly are asking for more supplements in soft gel form because they are easier to swallow and seem more palatable than some tablets.

soft gel production at amwayMaking these capsules is complex.

It’s much more labor-intensive and time-consuming than producing tablets.

Although soft gel capsules have been around for as many as 50 years in the pharmaceutical industry, the process is still laborious. It requires unrelenting quality control and uncompromising employees, and can take up to seven days to produce soft gel vitamins and dietary supplements.

What goes into producing a soft gel capsule?

Production involves:

  • the perfect melding of two separate formulas (contents and gelatin shell)
  • precise control of machines and temperatures
  • up to two days of drying
  • (for some products) laser etching of much of the final product

The gelatin shell must be strong enough not to leak, yet the right consistency to dissolve and release its contents into the body.

Every capsule must be uniform in color, shape and size.

It’s not just science.

Even with exacting employees and the industry’s best technology, experts say producing top-quality gels is as much art as science. That’s why every single Nutrilite soft gel is visually inspected to ensure it meets the exacting quality standards of the Nutrilite brand.

The next time you go to pop a soft gel supplement into your mouth, take a moment to appreciate it for the science – and art – that it is.


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