What are HPMC Vegetable Capsules?

Veggie capsules are made from plant-derived materials like cellulose or HPMC. They are a quality empty-capsule product, suitable for vegetarians and other consumers with/without dietary restrictions.

Empty Vegetarian Capsules

Vegetable capsules

Like many other inventions, the HPMC vegetable capsules, also called vegetarian capsules, are born of necessity – the necessity to accommodate the preference of some consumers for non-animal-based products.

There is growing interest in vegetarianism worldwide, and the plant-based food industry is set for further expansion. Alongside, the capsule market records a rising demand for veggie capsules, much as some pharmaceutical manufacturers are adjusting their products to meet the new consumers' demand.

Perhaps you have some questions about this: you want to know what these vegetarian capsules are, how they benefit you, and if they are safe for your health. In this article, we tell you precisely that. Read on to find the answers to the top FAQs we received about this popular empty capsule product.

Why HPMC vegetable capsules?

There are many reasons why HPMC caps are taking over.

As you undoubtedly know, capsules offer one of the most convenient ways to take your medications and dietary supplements, especially with the ease of filling your desired formula at home. But most capsule products on the market are made from gelatin, an ingredient derived from animals like cattle and pigs.

That becomes important in light of those consumers who have dietary restrictions for meat or meat products. Vegetarians often have personal, religious, health-related, or environmental reasons for their choice.

A recent study found that about 5% of Americans, 5% of Germans, and 8% of Canadians follow a vegetarian diet, with more women and younger people likely to have this preference.

Similarly, just as Muslims and Jews maintain strong reservations about pork-based products, some Hindus also avoid foods made from cows.

As a way-out, technology has offered the opportunity to meet these divergent consumer's needs with capsules made from plant-based materials.

Even for those with no restrictions in diet, the HPMC vegetarian capsules provide health-conscious consumers with natural alternatives to animal-derived capsules.

Finally, since the pandemic disrupted the global gelatin supply, many nutraceutical manufacturers have rethought their dependency on gelatin. And many have made a huge dive for these vegetable sources. With them, producers can have all Gelatin capsules' advantages and even more.

What are vegetarian capsules made from?

The best-quality vegetarian capsules are made from HPMC (hydroxypropylmethylcellulose), also called hypromellose. HPMC is a standardized industrial-grade cellulose derived from pine and spruce trees.

Unlike other vegetable materials used in the market, HPMC is also a pure, highly stable, gluten-free, non-GMO, and non-allergenic hydrocolloid. It is also used as a binder or coating agent in tablet formulation.

Capsules often contain additives such as gelling agents, colorants, opacifiers, or preservatives to enhance their functions. However, depending on the intended market, vegetarian capsules may vary in the additives they contain. Some contain fully organic or inorganic constituents, while some may be fortified with beneficial nutrients like chlorophyll.

What are the differences between gelatin capsules and vegetarian capsules?

The primary difference between gel caps and veggie capsules is their origin; while the former is animal-sourced, the latter is plant-based.

For all purposes and intent, both types of capsules are used extensively and interchangeably for drug delivery because of their similar properties as finished products.

Yet, their disparate origins often result in some subtle differences between them, like:

  • Stability: HPMC capsules are hygroscopic and have low moisture content (Capsuline K-Caps moisture level is optimally kept between 4-8%). These give them the ability to efficiently hold liquid and oily fills. They also protect moisture-sensitive content like probiotics better than gelatin shells.
  • Dissolution time: HPMC Vegetable empty capsules tend to have a slightly faster dissolution rate in water at room temperature than gelatin capsules (usually in 15 minutes). Although factors such as manufacturer specifications, coating, stomach acidity, and fasting influence this to an extent. 

Are vegetarian capsules safe?

Vegetarian HPMC capsules are made from 100% plant-sourced ingredients i.e. hypromellose that digest easily. They are perfectly healthy and do not contain any animal-by products or animal-borne contaminants.

They also do not trigger any allergic reaction or cause side effects, even on prolonged use. Typically, veggie capsules are vegan, Halal, and Kosher certified. That satisfies consumers with religious considerations.

Manufacturers produce these capsules in cGMP-approved facilities and follow a rigorous quality assurance process in their operations. Capsuline manufacturing facilities are cGMP certified and hold IS0-100 quality control certification to guarantee the traceability of materials. Also, all raw materials used are FDA 'Generally Regarded As Safe' (GRAS)-standard.

You can also choose the desired variety of these capsules that possess your preferred type of colorant, opacifier, or coating material.

Nevertheless, veggie capsules promote your health by enhancing the way active drugs are absorbed and utilized in your body.

What do HPMC veggie capsules do?

Vegetable Capsules

The HPMC Vegetable capsules perform as an elegant drug enclosure system. They serve as a substitute for tablets and powders when taking medicines, vitamins, or herbs by mouth. They help mask the poor taste and smell of drugs and give you the power to make supplements according to your needs.

Specifically, vegetarian capsules function as plant-based alternatives to gelatin shells. That allows vegetarians and vegans to take their medications or nutritional supplements as capsules without worrying about dietary restrictions.

Even if you are not vegetarian, other benefits that you could get from veggie shells include the following:


These capsules are tasteless, odorless, and very easy to swallow compared to tablets. They are also available in different sizes and colors, which makes them more palatable, especially for children.

Easy digestion and fast-acting

Once taken, because of their vegetable origin, veggie capsules break down in less than 20 minutes. Your nutrients are quickly absorbed and become bioavailable in no time. That enhances their therapeutic effects.

Needs optimized

Whether you want your capsule home-made, free of inorganic chemicals, or come with natural color or fortified with beneficial nutrients such as chlorophyll, you have a range of choices with empty veggie capsules.

Interested in buying vegetable capsules for your use? We have the best stock for you here.


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