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Your earliest memory of medicine is probably a jar of cough syrup with a plastic dosing spoon attached. Although widely produced as remedies for children, medicated syrups are also available for adults. Making cough syrup starts by dissolving active ingredients into a purified water and sugar solution. But it is the distinct flavorings and colorants that persist in people’s minds long after the illness is cured.

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Apply heat progressively to prevent caramelization of sucrose

Sucrose acts as both a sweetener and a thickener for making cough syrup. The solution with heat method heats the combination of sucrose and purified water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Top up the mixture with distilled water to add volume.

Heating, however, must be performed gently and gradually. One of the benefits of sucrose is its purity of color, but excessive temperatures cause it to caramelize, turning it brown.

Offset low sugar concentrations with preservatives

The solution of water and sucrose is fertile ground for colonies of microorganisms, raising risks for the product. But the hydrophilic properties of sugar also make them resistant to microbial growth. The syrup medium needs to strike a balance between viscosity and pathogen resistance.

A sucrose concentration of 85% or higher in cough syrups is considered microbe-resistant. In cases where the concentration is lower, you can counter pathogenic development with preservatives. A range of compounds such as glycerin, sorbic acid, and butylparaben are effective.

Processing pharmaceutical syrups with tolu balsam as the main ingredient

Tolu balsam is emerging as a critical ingredient in medicated formulas. Rich in benzyl and cinnamyl esters, it is frequently used in cough recipes to dissolve mucus. Tolu balsam is suspended in magnesium carbonate in a mixing tank. The mixture is then combined with the water and sucrose syrup and filtered repeatedly until the solution is clear.

Active pharmaceutical ingredients are then prepared into the solution by heating. In general, higher final temperatures result in thicker syrups and lower final temperatures in thinner ones.

A spoonful of flavorings makes the medicine go down

Most drugs in solution are unpalatable. There are two strategies to cancel out the offensive tastes: mask them or reduce their potency.

Bitterness can be covered by aromatic flavors such as mint, ginger, and cherry. Citrus flavors and raspberry work well against sour ingredients. Saltiness can be tempered with rich flavors like butterscotch, peach, or apricot. Ingredients that result too sweet can be mellowed with vanilla, fruit, and berry.

Processing steps involved in cough-syrup making

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