Active packaging is a key concern when packaging and developing pharmaceutical products, especially, in regards to the sorbent, or desiccant, you use. Desiccants are an important part of active packaging since they stop degradation through moisture, extending the duration of the product. While the cap/closure mechanism and the jar will protect medicines, the kind, quality and amount of the desiccant used will also play a very important role in shaping the quality of the formulation for the end-user. Use a generic desiccant and, in all likelihood, you won’t find the best results. In actuality, the wrong kind and quantity of desiccant could lead to over-desiccation of this formulation and could be detrimental to patient safety. So, you can see the importance of selecting your desiccant carefully. The cheapest, or most convenient alternative might not be the most valuable alternative.
At Cilicant, we know how crucial it is to select the ideal PHARMACEUTICAL DESICCANT. That is why we provide an assortment of sorbents developed for different applications. The two most commonly used are silica gel and molecular sieve. Significantly, the moisture adsorption properties of molecular sieve and silica gel differ in regards to how they function. While molecular sieve has a superb adsorptive capacity at low humidity levels, silica gel tends to perform poorly in low humidity. Both, however, have similar moisture retention capabilities at room temperature 25°C in a relative humidity of 40%. Silica gel is the most acceptable desiccant to use in products with stable storage temperatures and high relative humidity. Using its inert, non-toxic, and extremely stable properties, understandably, silica gel is a favourite desiccant alternative for many pharmaceutical products.
On the other hand, molecular sieve is more competitive and rapid in regards to moisture adsorption, so performs better in products which require immediate protection against moisture degradation. Molecular sieve can be stable over a large temperature range maintaining its high moisture retention properties. However, caution should be exercised when selecting the appropriate dose to be used in products with particular RH requirements. Packaging specialists also have to take into account the following in order to get optimal results from the desiccants they utilize. While choosing the proper adsorbent is important, it is equally important to select the ideal product within the desiccant variety, as each serves different functions. In the case of molecular sieve, there are lots of variants commonly used, such as 3A, 4A and 13X. Sort’4A’ is a popular selection for pharmaceutical packaging.