Which Size Empty Capsules Are Right For You?

The most common size capsule used for food supplements are 00 capsules. However there are a total of 10 standardised sizes. We stock the most common 8 sizes but do not stock as standard #00E and #0E which are "extended" versions of #00 and #0. We can source these by request.

The right size for you is dependent on the final use of the capsule as well as the amount of active ingredients and excipients that will be used in your formulation. The reason 0 and 00 are the most commonly used is because they are large whilst still being easy to swallow.

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Factors to Consider
When choosing a suitable size of capsule for your purposes there is a balance between the:
Required dosage
The required dosage comes down to how much of the active ingredient or ingredients is necessary for the product to be effective. You will need to decide how much of a dose you would like to be in each capsule e.g. 1000mg of Vitamin C
This will then be combined with excipients to help the product flow through the machine. Once mixed this is known as a “mix”.
You will need there to be the correct dose of ingredient within the mix in each capsule. If there is too much for one capsule you can either try to fit the powder in one capsules or you may want to consider spreading the dose over multiple capsules. E.g. rather than 1 #000 capsule splitting it over 3 #00.
Volume of the Mix
The volume of the mix will depend on the bulk density of the powders that make up your mix. We have a tool and guide on bulk density to help calculate the bulk density of your mix.
You need to know the bulk density of your mix so that you can work out how much active ingredient ends up in each capsule. It may result in you having to alter your mix slightly or spread the dose over more than one capsule.
Ease of Swallowing
Sometimes the sizes can be selected simply by the physical size of the capsule. For example when choosing a capsule for a child or an animal who might not be able to swallow larger capsules.
The reason that size 00 and size 0 are the most commonly used capsules in manufacturing is that they have adequate volume for a lot of mixes as well as being easy for humans to swallow.
Type of Capsule
Certain capsules such as Pullulan are only available in certain sizes. Determining the type of capsule you would like to produce may dictate your choice.
We have created this table to show the different capsules available for Geltain, HPMC and Pullulan.

What is the most popular size capsule?
The most commonly used capsule is size 00. Below is a scale of size 0 and 00 capsules next to common coins to show their scale. 

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Empty vegetarian capsules, HPMC capsules and gelatin capsule sizes are all standardized across the world. They may vary very slightly between different manufacturers however. It is always best to test that the capsules you purchase work in your filing application if purchasing from a different supplier to your equipment.
As we said before the correct capsule for each situation depends on the application and how much ingredients ultimately needs to end up in each capsule. This is why we have created a capsule size guide to help you work out which size of empty capsule is the right size for you.

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Post time: May-11-2022
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