Basel I Switzerland

Citric Acid in tableting applications

Tablets are a growing market, not only in the pharmaceutical industry but also in the food, personal care and home care markets. Innovative products like shampoo tabs, toothpaste tabs and various cleaners in tablet form are more and more common on the supermarket shelves. This started with an increased consumer interest in ecologically friendly applications. Many conventional cleaning and personal care products consist mostly of water, which often makes up more than 90% of the formulation. Tonnes of water are packed into (mostly) plastic packaging materials and transported great distances to consumers resulting in huge amounts of plastic waste and CO2 emissions. In contrast, tablets as dry formats focus on active ingredients in a highly concentrated form. Consumers dissolve the tablet at home as single-use products or for multiple use in reusable containers. Tablet packaging is much smaller when compared to the conventional liquid products, reducing packaging waste. In addition, transport volume is significantly smaller. Fewer ships, trucks, trains and airplanes are needed for transport, which reduces overall carbon footprints.

Citric acid is a common and crucial ingredient in many personal care and home care applications, such as cleaners, shampoo and shower gels. It is used as acidifier or as pH regulating agent. Since citric acid is sold in a crystalline powdered form, it is a perfectly suited ingredient for water-free formulations. Citric acid is already a key ingredient in many innovative products in tablet format. In the healthcare and pharmaceutical markets, citric acid is found in many tablet products. The most common products are effervescent tablets, which are based on a reaction of citric acid with carbonate compounds resulting in the formation of CO2.

Jungbunzlauer offers a broad range of different citric acid granulations to meet tablet manufacturer’s demand of individual adjustment of important product properties such as tablet hardness, dissolution time and storage stability. The tablet hardness and friability is a crucial characteristic as it strongly influences the stability and overall appearance of the tablet during transport and further processing steps. In general, a decreasing tablet hardness can be observed with increasing particle size of the crystalline powder. Depending on the requirements, tablet manufacturers either choose fine citric acid granulations in order to reach a high level of hardness and stability of the tablets, or coarser granulations in order to produce easy-to-break tablets which need to be broken in smaller pieces by the consumer at home. If a direct compressible type of citric acid is needed, Jungbunzlauer citric acid DC is the product of choice. This product consist of citric acid coated with a thin layer of maltodextrin. It enables tablet manufacturers to save time and energy for pre-processing steps before tableting and to produce tablets with same hardness at lower pressing force.

Since effervescent formulations tend towards premature reactions if moisture is present, they are very sensitive to humidity. Amongst appropriate packaging or controlled conditions during production, Jungbunzlauer’s CITROCOAT® N can support manufacturers to optimise the production process and to improve the properties of the final product. CITROCOAT® N is comprised of citric acid as the core material, with a thin layer of a citrate as shell material. Thanks to the protective citrate coating, tablets with CITROCOAT® N show improved storage properties compared to regular citric acid. This characteristic may be important, especially for tablets that are supposed to be stored outside their packaging or in a packaging that is opened and closed several times by the consumer in a humid environment such as the bathroom or kitchen.

The citric acid product portfolio of Jungbunzlauer offers solutions for a broad range of different tableting applications, be it conventional or innovative. Jungbunzlauer citric acid keeps your environmental footprint low, and helps your products work perfectly.

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