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How to measure and analyse the texture of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Novel Oral Dosage Forms : Pastilles/Lozenges


While altering oral tablets to create formulations suitable for children has long been a part of paediatric healthcare, it is clearly a less than ideal option. 

Pastilles/Lozenges represent oral medical preparations consisting of sugar and gum that have solidified and are meant to be consumed by light chewing and allowing them to dissolve in the mouth. This makes them a popular choice for children, as they are easy to ingest and integrate into daily routines. In addition, they are simple to formulate, with interesting flavours, and their texture is more appealing to this age category for trouble-free administration. They are usually used to medicate the mouth and throat and for the slow administration of vitamins, indigestion or cough remedies. 

Pastilles/lozenges are made by pouring a thick liquid mixture into a powdered, sugared, or waxed mould and then allowing the liquid to set and dry. The mixture is usually based on starch and gum arabic which emulsifies any added active oils or extracts and binds them into a hydrocolloidal matrix. 
Penetration testing using
a Cylinder Probe and
Confectionery/Sample Holder

The combination also reduces the rate in which the pastille/lozenge dissolves and moderates the amount of active substances delivered at a time. The gum arabic also hardens the pastilles and makes them more sturdy in storage and transport.

Measuring Gel Texture

The measurement of gel texture is of widespread interest in the manufacture of pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic products. 

Gel penetration test using
a Bloom jar
Pastilles/lozenges can be considered as medical confectionery and in most cases a simple penetration test using a small diameter Cylinder Probe is suitable to evaluate the firmness of the gel.

Hardness/Firmness and Stickiness are the most important properties of plastic solids. Whilst the hardness can provide the means to assess affects of different formulation on the sample, the stickiness may provide useful measurements, such as the tooth-pulling potential of a confectionery product.

Typical curve produced from
the rupture of a polymer gel

Cylindrical gel sample being
tested on sandpaper to
determine elastic moduli
Standard probes such as that required for gelatine testing according to the ISO Standard, are also available for the assessment of Bloom Strength or rupture characteristics of gels (a typical graph is also shown).
For self-supporting gels (such as lozenges) and a more fundamental test approach, the Elastic Moduli can be determined by compressing cylindrical shape samples (which may be placed on sandpaper to avoid slip) with a larger surface area Cylinder Probe at a test speed of 0.1mm/sec. Elastic moduli are determined from the initial parts of the stress-strain curves. 

A summary of how to perform texture analysis on the alternatives to traditional tablet-form medications using a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser can be viewed in this video...

We can design and manufacture probes or fixtures for the TA.XTplus texture analyser that are bespoke to your sample and its specific measurement.

Once your measurement is performed, our expertise in its graphical interpretation is unparalleled. Not only can we develop the most suitable and accurate method for the testing of your sample, but we can also prepare analysis procedures that obtain the desired parameters from your curve and drop them into a spreadsheet or report designed around your requirements.

For more information on how to measure texture, please visit the Texture Analysis Properties section on our website.

TA.XTplus texture analyser with bloom jar The
TA.XTplus texture analyser is part of a family of texture analysis instruments and equipment from Stable Micro Systems. An extensive portfolio of specialist attachments is available to measure and analyse the textural properties of a huge range of food products. Our technical experts can also custom design instrument fixtures according to individual specifications.

No-one understands texture analysis like we do!

To discuss your specific test requirements click here...

Watch our video about testing of materials

 The Role of Texture Analysis in Pharmaceuticals

Browse our range of meat product testing solutions

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