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Probably, you are looking for empty gelatin capsules for packaging your powder, pellets or tablet products.

Today’s guide focuses on all the vital aspects you must consider before buying hard gelatin capsules.

So, before you go shopping for empty capsules, you should read all the key points in this guide.

By the way, if you’re new to this industry, these are what we call empty capsules:

Joined and separated capsules

Joined and separated capsules

Now, let’s dive right in.

Sizes of Empty Gelatin Capsules

Empty capsules come in a range of sizes.

Therefore, you must choose a suitable size that will meet the specific needs of your applications.

But, even before you study the empty gelatin capsules sizes chart, it is important to look at their overall structure.

Look at this:

Basic structure of capsules

Basic structure of capsules

As you can see, there are vital aspects you should consider when evaluating the size of empty gelatin capsules.

For instance, you need to know the:

  • Individual lengths of caps
  • Overall length of the closed capsule
  • Weight of the capsule
  • Theoretical volume of capsules
  • Typical fill weights
  • Diameter to the capsules

Once you know all these parameters, it becomes easier to tell the right size of empty gelatin capsules.

Of course, information about sizes of empty capsules available online is a little confusing.

So, what should you do?

Well, here is an empty gelatin capsules sizes chart:

Capsules sizes chart

Capsules sizes chart

For even a more in-depth insight and comparison, you can quickly review this:

Capsules sizes

Capsules sizes

Still, if you want to learn more, on this, contact empty capsule manufacturer expert.

Remember, the rule is this simple – ensure you get the right size of empty gelatin capsules.

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Difference between Gelatin Capsules and Vegetable Capsules

Broadly, you can choose from gelatin capsules or vegetable capsules.

It will depend on what your customers need.

But, what’s the difference between the two types of capsules?

Let’s find out:

a) Gelatin Capsules

Gelatin capsules are also called gelcaps or gel caps.

Gelatin capsules

Gelatin capsules

The capsules are manufactured from animal by-products called collagen.

They are less expensive and suitable for powdered drug formulations.

b) Vegetable Capsules

As the name suggests, vegetable capsules are made from plant products such as cellulose.

Unlike gelatin capsule, vegetable capsules are suitable for vegan consumers.

Besides, they are also more expensive.

Vegetable capsules

Vegetable Capsules

Vegetable capsules are a perfect choice for gel and semi-solid product formulations.

What do all these imply?

That is, know the formulation you intend to fill in the capsules.

Also, you must know whether your customers have dietary or religious restrictions when it comes to capsules.

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Reasons for Filling Your Own Empty Gelatin Capsules

Generally, you can fill a range of formulations in empty gelatin capsules.

However, as earlier stated, the formulations should be in powder form for successful filling.

Filled capsules

Filled capsules

Some of the main reasons for filling your own capsules include:

i. Filling your own capsules is cost-effective, as long as you have a suitable encapsulation machine. Of course, the process must conform to the set safety and quality standards.

ii. Obviously, you will know the real composition of the capsules since you’ll make the formulations.

iii. With automatic capsule filling machine, you can save a lot of time.

iv. Filling capsules is a better way of concealing bad taste in herbs and drugs

Filling Liquid in Gelatin Capsules

Gelatin capsules are suitable for powder formulations.

This is because most liquid formulations such as semi-liquid or gel will cause the gelatin capsule to break down.

Capsules with liquid

Capsules with liquids

In most cases, the liquid formulation will form holes on the gelatin capsule causing leakage.

If you want to fill liquids, you can go for vegetable capsules.

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How to Fill Empty Capsules

Capsule filling is a critical process, and you must choose the most efficient and reliable technique.

For instance, you can choose equipment that fills less than 100 capsules per hour, to one that can handle up to 300,000 capsules per hour.

It will all depend on how you want to fill the capsules.

Therefore, you can choose from:

a) Manual capsule filling machine

With a manual capsule filling machine, you will handle all operations by hand.

That is, you will arrange the capsules, fill and seal capsules.

To get a clear picture of how a manual capsule filling works, you can watch the video below.

Manual capsule filling machine is suitable for small scale production needs.

b) Semi-automatic capsule filling machine

Semi-automatic capsule filling machine has a slightly high production capacity than the manual capsule filling machine.

As the name suggests, filling empty capsules with this equipment is partially automated.

That is, there are processes that the machine can handle, whereas, others the technicians must do.

To understand how semi-automatic capsule filling machine works, you can watch the video below:


c) Fully automatic capsule filling machine

If you’re running a large production facility, then you can go for fully automatic capsule filling machine.

Here, the capsule filling machine will perform all the necessary operations.

That is, it orients the capsules, opens, fills and seals.

Here, the process is more accurate and fast that you can fill over 300,000 capsules per hour.

For a clear picture of how this machine works, you can watch the video below:

As you can see, you can easily configure the operations through the touchscreen panel.

It features a fully integrated PLC system.

Furthermore, even if you want a capsule filling machine for micro-dosing powder application, you can choose a dosator type capsule filling machine.

With a dosator capsule filling machine, you can fill the capsule with 200 milligrams or even less.

It is a perfect choice when it comes to filling capsules for dry powder inhaler (DPIs).

Of course, for other normal automatic capsule filling applications, you can go for tamping pin capsule filling machines.

As you can see filling empty capsules is a simple and easy process, thanks to the innovative technologies in the industry.

Capsule filling machines working principle

Capsule filling machine working principle

You will only define your production requirements and choose a suitable capsule filling machine brand.

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Where to Buy Empty Gelatin Capsules

You can buy empty gelatin capsules from many outlets.

For instance, you can get empty gelatin capsules from various online market places such as Amazon, Alibaba, etc.

However, you need to buy empty gelatin capsules from the manufacturer.

This way, you will get empty gelatin capsules that meet globally acceptable safety standards.

Empty capsules

Empty capsules

Normally, the empty gelatin capsules price varies from one manufacturer to another.

Also, each manufacturer indicates the minimum order quantity (MOQ).

Besides, the price will depend on the capsule size, design, and diameter among other aspects.

For example, the cost of empty gelatin capsules may vary from:

  • US $0.0014-0.0023 / Piece while the MOQ is 100000 Pieces
  • US $0.0014-0.0017 / Piece with MOQ 10000 Pieces
  • US $0.001-0.003 / Piece and the MOQ is 3000000 Pieces
  • US $0.0015-0.0022 / Piece with MOQ 1500000 Pieces

Note: This data was retrieved from Alibaba to give you an estimated cost and MOQ.

In short, you need to contact a reliable empty gelatin capsule manufacturer.

You will discuss the price and MOQ.

Manufacturing of Empty Gelatin Capsules

Manufacturing gelatin capsules is a step by step process that requires strict quality control.

This way, you will reduce possible empty hard gelatin capsules defects.

Also, you need the right empty gelatin capsules manufacturing machine and equipment.

Below is a video with a summary of what you should expect during the empty capsules manufacturing process:


Let’s explore the steps:

Step 1: Preparing Material

Get high quality collagen from animal bones or skin. You should test material to ensure they are of high quality.

Using the gelatin melting tank, mix gelatin with demineralized water. Of course, the melting takes place at a suitable temperature.

Next, you will transfer gelatin to the feeding tank of the empty gelatin capsules manufacturing machine.

Step 2: Adding Opacifants and Dyes

With the gelatin in the feeding tank, it is time to add dyes, water, and opacifants.

It is the final stage of the gelatin preparation process.

Depending on the design of the empty capsule manufacturing machine, gelatin can move to the machine via gravity or pumping mechanism.

Step 3: Mouding Capsules

Liquid gelatin will then move to the molding section of the capsule manufacturing machine.

In this case, we have the stainless steel pin bars form the upper deck.

As a result, the body and cap set on the pin bars.

Next, the machine subjects the gelatin on the bin bars through a drying system.

It dries the gelatin by controlling humidity, temperature and volume of air precisely.

Your machine should control all these parameters throughout the production process.

Step 4: Removing Empty Gelatin Capsules

After drying, the machine will strip the two halves of the capsules from the pin bars.

At the same time, the machine trims the empty gelatin capsules, which can then be joined back together.

During the entire process, you need to control the size, thickness, colour, moisture content, and wall thickness.

Lastly, you can inspect, sort and print the capsules.

Gelatin capsules manufacturing process

Gelatin capsules manufacturing process – Photo courtesy: Clinical Gate

Note: This is a summary of what to expect during the empty gelatin capsules manufacturing process.

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Empty Hard Gelatin Capsules Specification

Specification forms a fundamental aspect whenever you want to invest in the best empty gelatin capsules.

For instance, you can opt for coloured or clear empty gelatin capsules.

Alternatively, you can also choose flavoured empty gelatin capsules.

By the end of it all, it will depend on the types of empty gelatin capsules you need for your specific applications.

Hard gelatin capsule structure

Hard gelatin capsule structure

Some of the key empty hard gelatin capsules specification parameters include:

  • Moisture content of capsules which should be between 13% to 16%
  • Empty gelatin capsules manufacturer
  • Capsule material
  • Type of dyes and pigments in the capsules
  • Safety and quality compliance as stipulated by the I.P. 1996/ EU, FDA, and USP, just to mention few.
  • Type of flavour such as mint, grape, orange, etc
  • Dimensions of empty gelatin capsules
  • Disintegration time, which is usually 15 minutes

In short, you should be able to describe all the critical aspects of empty gelatin capsules.

This way, you will get the right empty gelatin capsules that meet your unique application requirements.

Empty Hard Gelatin Capsules Storage

Proper storage will prevent possible empty gelatin capsules defects.

Of course, the storage conditions may vary slightly depending on the gelatin capsule material.

But even with all these variables, you should follow these empty hard gelatin capsules storage conditions:



i. Store empty gelatin capsules in their original packaging

ii. Storage temperature should range from 59°F (15°C) and 77°F (25°C)

iii. Relative humidity should remain within 35% to 65%

iv. Avoid exposure to cycling or high temperature

v. Keep empty gelatin capsules away from direct sunlight, hot water or steam

If you don’t adopt a proper empty hard gelatin capsule storage techniques, then you’re likely to face many challenges.

That is, such conditions may distort the shape or shatter capsules.

Besides, it can be difficult to separate empty capsules during filling.

When you consider all these aspects, your empty hard gelatin capsules will last for at least 5 years.

More importantly, follow all storage instructions as recommended by the empty gelatin capsules manufacturer.


Clearly, empty gelatin capsules play a fundamental role in many industries such as food processing, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and chemical industries.

However, for successful packaging, you must choose the right capsule sizes.

Even for manufacturers, it is important to adopt the right procedures.

This guide highlights every aspect of empty gelatin capsules.

At SaintyCo, we are here to help you get the best empty gelatin capsules.

For questions or inquiries, feel free to contact us for free consultations.

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