Gelatin Capsule FAQs

March 29, 2016

What is gelatin and where do you obtain the gelatin used in your products?

Gelatin is an animal protein used to make capsules, which can deliver measured amounts of products. The pharmaceutical quality gelatin used in our two-piece hard-shell gelatin capsules is obtained through the processing of collagen, a fibrillary protein composed of eighteen different amino acids found in connective tissues (generally the hides) and in the bones of animals.

Which animals? Our two-piece hard-shell gelatin capsules (powder filled) are typically made of a combination of beef (bovine) and pork (porcine) gelatins. By contrast, our softgel (liquid filled) gelatin capsules are typically derived solely from beef gelatin, not pork. Bovine sources must be BSE/TSE free. The gelatin is generally sourced from North America, but in some cases may also be sourced from Southeast or East Asia (primarily Thailand, Indonesia, or Japan) or South America (primarily Columbia).

For vegetarians and vegans we also offer certain products in vegetable capsules, which are derived from either plant cellulose (specifically hydroxypropyl methylcelluose HPMC from pine trees) typically from North America or France) or vegetable polysaccharides (pullulan from tapioca) typically from Mexico or Japan.

Special batches of products may be manufactured for specific international markets, such as Canada and the Middle East, utilizing different capsules than similar products that we produce and distribute in the United States, so please look at your product label to determine which formulation and type of capsule has been used to make that particular product.  This can also affect the kosher or halal status of certain products in those markets.