Keeping pharmaceuticals moisture free

We have all come across desiccants at some point in our lives. They come in little white packets or cans in packaged products with the strict instruction, ‘Do not eat.’ They are hygroscopic substances, which means, they absorb moisture maintain a state of dryness in the packaged product to prevent it from getting damaged due to moisture. They are frequently found in packaging for products that could compromised by humidity and moisture. Increasingly, desiccants play a vital role in shipping food and pharmaceuticals products by absorbing moisture and maintaining controlled environment to ensure the quality of products throughout the period of transportation. They come in the form of pouches, capsules or even canisters depending on the type of packaging and product.

More details about desiccants

Desiccants play a major role in the pharmaceutical sector, with silica gel canisters being the most popular. In the pharmaceutical as well as nutraceutical industries, Desiccants are generally used in the packaging of herbal, diagnostic, veterinary, dental and nutritional medicines. They are defined as small High-Density Polyethylene or HDPE containers having adsorbents like 1) Clay for moisture adsorption 2) Silica Gel for moisture control 3) Molecular Sieves for water vapour and impurities adsorption 4) Activated Carbon for good odour and finally Silica Gel in combination with Carbon to control bad odour and excess humidity. The desiccant canisters are placed in the medicine bottles at a very high speed. A specialty of the Desiccant Canister available in the market nowadays is that they are all food grade.

Importance of inserting desiccants

When being packed in bottles, for the pharma industry, desiccants are usually inserted in the form of canisters or medicinal capsules into the packaging lines to ensure that the medicines are not affected by moisture, mold, rust, mildew and micro-organisms. Moisture Control is very important for pharmaceutical products as the presence of dampness can not only spoil the medicines, but in many cases bring about irreversible physical and chemical changes. Thus more and more pharmaceutical companies are turning to desiccants to protect products from excess humidity. When inserting with pouches, the inserting machine cuts desiccant packets from a roll and inserts them at a speed of up to 120 bottles per minute. The desiccant inserting machine is another machine which can fill up 150 bottles with desiccant canisters every minute.