The size of a capsule can vary from just a few microns to several
millimetres: the following descriptions and names apply here:
Capsules smaller than 1 micron = nanocapsule
Capsules between 1 and 1000 microns = microcapsules
Capsules larger than 1000 microns = Macrocapsules
The capsule content (encapsulated ingredient) can comprise up to 95%.
A variety of natural and synthetic polymers are available as capsule wall material:
- Gelatines, fish collagens, rubber arrabicum, albumen, fibrinogens, casein, haemoglobin, zein, alginate, carragheen, agar-agar, chitosan, arabino-galactan, gelan, cellulose, polyvinylalcohol, polyacroleins, polyamides, polyethyleneglycoles, ethyl and Styrolmaleinacidanhydride copolymers etc.
Furthermore natural and synthetic fats and waxes such as:
- bees wax, carnauba wax, stearin acid, paraffin, glycerinemonostearates, hydrated plant oils and much more.