How Are Vitamin & Supplements Manufactured?
The vitamin & supplements production process follows 10 essential steps, depending on the particular vitamin you are trying to make, the raw materials will vary.
Our formulation team is composed of doctors, pharmacists, naturopaths, chemists and biochemists. It is with this convergence of fields and points of view that we formulate our products in our laboratory. Our approach is to take the best that nature can give us and translate it into our products through science. The entire formulation process meets Health Canada standards.
2. Preliminary Checking
The second step is sourcing high-quality raw materials , include essential substances that will play different roles, such as binders, fillers, flow agents, etc., and differ based on whether your finished product is a powder, capsule, or tablet. Procure raw materials from reputable vendors with a Certificate of Analysis – a declaration of the material’s content and purity. We check the raw materials and do laboratory analysis. We check for identity and potency, and any possible bacterial contamination as well as heavy metal content.
Raw materials usually arrive in the form of fine powder. In case the ingredients are not finely granulated, they are passed through a mill and ground. Some vitamins come preblended with a filler ingredient like microcrystalline cellulose or maltodextrin to produce a more even granule that simplifies the next processing steps
4. Wet Granulation
For vitamin tablets, particle size plays a significant role in determining how well your formula will run through a tableting machine. If the raw vitamins arrive from the distributor milled to the appropriate size for tableting, there is no need for a wet granulation step. Otherwise, the fine vitamin powder is mixed with different cellulose particles, made wet, and dried in a dryer. Once dried, the formula may be in chunks. In a case like this, the powder will need to be run through a mill to ensure that it’s appropriately sized. The mill forces them down a small hole to achieve the desired granule size.
5. Weighing and Mixing
Once the vitamin ingredients are ready, they are weighed out on a scale. On a formula batch record, the required weights of each ingredient are listed down. After weighing, the ingredients are placed in a mixer for approximately 15-30 minutes. Samples are then taken from different sides of the mixer and examined to ensure even distribution and proportion of all ingredients. When making a large batch, the first three or four slots in the mixer are checked and then re-checked periodically.
Once the batch in the mixer has been approved, the mixture is moved to an encapsulating machine and put into a hopper. Initially, a test batch is run through the encapsulating machine to ensure that the capsules are of proper and consistent weight. The finished vitamin mixture is then compressed into tablets, sometimes with a coating. The vitamin capsules are even checked visually for splitting or dimpling. If the tests show no errors, the entire batch is run through this process.
7. Polishing and Inspection
The vitamin capsules are then circulated on a belt through a series of soft brushes. These brushes wipe out any surplus dust or vitamin powder from the exterior of the capsules. Once polished, the capsules are poured on an inspection table
A rotating table fitted with holes on its outer edges holds dies that are the shape of the desired . These dies are interchangeable, so you can choose the shape as long as the proper dies are installed. Vitamin powder from the filling station fills the die, and when the table rotates, the filled die moves into a punch press, pressure is exerted on the vitamin powder when the halves of the punch meet, and the vitamin powder is compressed into a compact tablet.
The solid tablets are taken from the tableting area and placed into a coating pan – a wide rotating pan surrounded by 1-6 spray guns and is operated by pumps. These pumps spray coating over the tablets as they revolve in the pan.
10. Packaging and Labeling
In the packaging area, coated vitamin tablets are passed through a row of machines. The machine is set to count out the required number of capsules or tablets per bottle. The capsules or tablets fall into a bottle that is passed to the next machine to be sealed, capped, labeled, and shrink-wrapped. Each bottle is labeled according to its contents, recommended usage information, and expiration date. These finished bottles are then set in boxes and ready to be shipped.