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home > pmps > spring 2021 > time for a change? discover why pea starch softgel technology is making waves in the pharma market
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Time for a Change? Discover Why Pea Starch Softgel Technology Is Making Waves in the Pharma Market

Softgels are gaining widespread acceptance as a preferred dosage form in the pharmaceutical industry because they hold universal appeal for consumers and manufacturers alike. Driven by innovation in capsule formulation and high consumption of supplements and pharmaceuticals, the global softgel market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% up to 2028 (1). At the same time, plant-based soft capsule technologies are rising to the fore, powered by growing popularity of vegetarians, increased environmental and health concerns regarding meat consumption, and religious reasons, which mean that some individuals cannot consume traditional gelatin softgels. This is creating significant opportunities for softgel formulators to innovate in the market with sustainable and high-performing plant-based options.

Reasons to Believe in Softgel Delivery Systems

Softgels bring many important and unique benefits, including convenience and ease of swallowing, making them a popular choice among consumers and patients. For pharmaceutical manufacturers, soft capsules offer a safe and effective system for the delivery of poorly water-soluble or low melting point active ingredients in specified doses. They are ideal for the formulation of oils and fat-soluble actives, for instance, making the delivery of poorly water-soluble active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in liquid matrix an option to improve their oral bioavailability. This is significant considering that 90% of recently developed APIs have low solubility in water, which can affect the efficacy of the drug and create a range of formulation challenges (2). Soft capsules can also accommodate a wide variety of fills, while their functional benefits allow for extended shelf life and stability of APIs. In addition, their flexible design and great versatility facilitates the creation of capsules in different sizes, shapes, and colours, enabling product differentiation in the market. Plus, soft capsules have no taste or odour and tampering is evident.

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Steve Amoussou-Guenou is a Global Technical Developer with Roquette. In this role, Steve leads all aspects of technical support for Roquette pharma customers, including helping them in the use of Roquette excipients for their pharmaceutical development projects, offering technical guidance in formulation and process development, quality and regulatory affairs, and contributing to the development of innovative solutions.
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