The easiest and most commonly used method of making gels is mixing gelling agents with water to form a weakly cohesive internal structure. The gel production process is pretty linear and straightforward, from mixing hydrocolloids and water to labeling and sealing containers.
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Do you need a gel making machine for gel production?
To manufacture gel, you simply need to mix gelling agents with appropriate proportions of water to form a semi-solid aerosol. Thickening (or gelling) agents help increase the viscosity of liquids without substantially altering their other properties. On their part, hydrocolloids used in making gels are usually in powder form but are derived from various sources and origins, including plants, marine, biotechnological, cellulose, and synthetic.
You need different equipment to manufacture gel depending on your intended product’s type and applications. For starters, a small-scale dispersion machine is an important tool, since homogenization is a game-changer. Further, in the carefully-controlled arena of pharmaceutical production, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) washing solutions are essential. It cleans production equipment in regulated pharmaceutical-manufacturing facilities. Moreover, if you’re planning on large-scale production, you must have filling and labeling machines.
How gels are useful
Gels have a wide range of uses and can be pharmaceutical and cosmetic. Cosmetic gels feature prominently in the manufacturing of personal care products such as hair styling gels. Likewise, pharmaceutical gels help in the making of painkillers and ointments. The production process for manufacturing both types of gel is largely similar, but zero cross-contamination between production batches is significantly more important in the production of pharmaceutical products.
What you should know about regulations for gel production
Regulations for the production of cosmetic and pharmaceutical gels differ in specification and enforcement. Cosmetic GMPs guide the production and sale of cosmetic gels. These are a set of guidelines highly encouraged by health regulatory bodies in several countries. On the other hand, several countries have enacted legislation guiding the production of pharmaceutical gels, in addition to pharmaceutical products regulation. The World Health Organization (WHO) also has standards promoting and regulating the production of pharmaceutical products.
The FDA highlights differences in regulations between cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, which can apply to gel production as well. For instance, cosmetic products do not require FDA approval before they can go on sale whereas pharmaceutical products must receive premarket approval. Also, failure to follow GMP requirements adulterates pharmaceutical products, while no regulations stipulate specific GMP requirements for cosmetic products.
Gel making machines and the homogenization process
Homogenization can make or mar your efforts. It serves several purposes such as reduction of particle size, dispersion, dissolution, mixing, emulsification, and encapsulation. The homogenization process involves the use of pressure to mix two items (in this case, powder and water) to create a uniform emulsion. While it’s certainly possible, it’s not advisable for you to homogenize your gel by hand. Since the homogenization process is so exacting, there are industrial, high-pressure homogenization equipment to help make the process smoother.