Tapioca Starch Softgels: The Ultimate Guide

Have you heard of Tapioca Starch Softgels in the past?

Or, is this the last time you’re hearing about Tapioca Starch Softgels?

Whether you’re a newbie or a professional in this field, this guide covers everything about Tapioca and its impact on Softgel technology.

So let’s get to it.

What isbTapioca Starch Softgels?

Cassava root

Cassava Root

For starters, Tapioca is a starch that comes from cassava root.

Cassava root is known as ‘Yuca” in many parts of the world.

It is typically cultivated and consumed in tropical regions like South America and the Caribbean.

Although, the root started in Northern Brazil as time passed – it made its way across Africa, Asia, and other parts of South America.

You should know that Cassava root is primarily valued for its capabilities to cultivate in soils that are low in nutrients.

Despite this disadvantage, they harvest rather rapidly, which is pretty great.

Furthermore, cassava is very much loved for its culinary versatility.

There’s an array of ways that the root can be utilized.

For example, it can be used in soups, can be mashed up (like mash potatoes) and can be fried, much like French fries.

Last, but certainly not least –cassava root is used to make Tapioca!

So basically, Tapioca is a starch, which is extracted out of the cassava root.

It’s often used as a thickening element in many types of foods.

For instance, it can be made into flour. It is incredibly similar to the consistency of corn starch.

In this case, it is made into a powder that’s mixed with water and glycerin to create a liquid that can be molded into capsule form.

What are some of its advantages?

Advantages of Tapioca Starch Softgels

Well, Tapioca starch, in recent days, has replaced carrageenan in vegetableSoftgels.

A wide range of customers is sold to the benefits of Tapioca Starch Softgels.

Carrageenan, as many of you know, it has severally been linked to gastrointestinal distress and inflammations.

Tapioca starch, on the other hand, has been proven to solve these issues.

So generally, Tapioca Starch Softgels have amazing benefits that a lot of people don’t even know about.

Tapioca softgel

Tapioca Softgel

And these include:

· Vegan-friendly

The base ingredient of Tapioca Starch Softgels is the Tapioca, derived from Cassava roots.

This is Vegan-friendly as it contains no animal proteins or any form of genetic modification.

Besides, starch Softgel manufacturing practices adhere to strict quality and safety standards.

Recipes for these Softgels are designed by top chemists and nutritionists to meet the strict vegan nutritional requirements.

· Tapioca is a stable starch

Being a stable starch, Tapioca does not induce cross-linking reactions, unlike other popular fill materials.

Meaning, end users don’t have to worry about getting infected with animal-transmitted diseases or anything of the sort.

· Easy to store and transport

Again, unlike other Softgel material, Tapioca starch tends to remain highly stable under thermal duress.

This property makes it easy to store and transport Softgels made of Tapioca as there’s no worry that they will spoil.

It is also among the primary reasons why Softgel manufacturers are choosing Tapioca over other capsule materials.

· Has an excellent nutritional value

As I had mentioned before, Tapioca Starch Softgels have the potency to mitigate gastrointestinal issues.

They offer customers a healthier option for gastrointestinal health.

Tapioca can help with excess acidity, ulcers, and indigestion, thanks to its wealth of dietary fibers.

The starch is also known to ease gastrointestinal discomforts like pain and burning in the stomach.

For those of you looking to gain weight healthily, Tapioca starch capsules are the way to go.

· Easily digestible

The good thing with tapioca is that it is easily digestible.

Thus, it makes for an excellent Softgel capsule fill material.

· Available in a range of sizes and shapes

Like any other Softgel, Tapioca starch can be incorporated into different types, shapes, and capsule sizes.

These are the benefits of Tapioca Starch Softgels, the next question is, what are its ingredients?

Tapioca Starch Softgel Ingredients

As I said earlier, Tapioca starch capsules are made out of tapioca, a purely vegetable starch.

It is the primary base ingredient.

Meaning, it is the best option for users who are on a strict vegan diet.

In fact, this is a fundamental aspect you should always have in mind in any Tapioca Softgel manufacturing process.

There is no need of going over where Tapioca comes from as we’ve already had that brief history in the early stages of this guide.

Just to recap though, Tapioca comes from cassava roots.

And, it is processed into a desirable form that can be molded into capsules.

Now being the base material in Softgel manufacturing, it means that there are other ingredients used too.

Tapica softgel ingredients

Tapioca Softgel Ingredients

These ingredients are but not limited to;

  • Health-friendly preservatives that manufacturers use to help lengthen the shelf life of these capsules
  • Water, sometimes glycerin is used to soften/dissolve the Tapioca starch
  • Some types of Tapioca Starch Softgels may include color to increase their effectiveness and appeal
  • Flavorings may also be added to these Softgels to improve their taste
  • Tapioca Starch Softgels often also have added plasticizers that help them to remain flexible without degrading

The plasticizers also help to soften the Softgel, making it is easy to swallow and digest.

Other than these, the process of Tapioca Softgel manufacturing also involves the use of certain active ingredients.

These are usually the vitamins or nutrients advertised on the label.

That is all that makes up the Tapioca starch Softgel coat.

Inner fill materials can be;

  • Oil fills such as soybean oil or miglyol 812
  • Solution fills
  • Suspension fills

Disadvantages of Tapioca Starch Soft Gelatin Capsules

Previously, you’ve learned of the benefits of Tapioca Starch Softgels.

In this section, we focus on the disadvantages.

So first of all, cassava is known to be a very dangerous root if not prepared well.

It contains cynogenic glycosides, which can cause acute cyanide poisoning if not prepared properly.

The toxin found in red branched variety is less harmful than the green branched ones, and it is worst during drought.

As such, manufacturers ought to be careful when sourcing and preparing Tapioca for Softgel production.

Secondly, Tapioca, the base ingredient in Tapioca Starch Softgels, is not suitable for low-calorie diets.

If users are looking to lose or maintain a healthy weight, then it is not the best form of a capsule to take.

It is otherwise recommended for children and customers trying to gain weight.

Thirdly, these like any other form of Softgels require special manufacturing equipment.

This can be a limitation for startups and local drug stores that need to provide a healthier capsule alternative to customers.

Fourthly, sources indicate that vegetable starch Softgel shells are not as strong as their gelatin counterparts.

They say that the vegetable starch capsules have a porous outer wall.

Meaning, Tapioca Starch Softgels have weaker shells compared to animal-derived gelatins.

They are also less capable of protecting ingredients from oxidation and degradation.

Last but not least, Tapioca Starch Softgels are costlier compared to other types of Softgels.

This is because it is still a new technology in the Softgel manufacturing industry.

And as we all know, newer technologies tend to cost more due to the higher cost of materials and specialized equipment used.

Tapioca Starch Softgel Shapes and Sizes

This guide so far makes us understand that Tapioca Starch Softgels can be made in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Note that these are generally made in the same shapes and sizes as any other Softgel capsules.

And as per the image below, the Tapioca Softgel sizes and shapes can be round, oval, tube, oblong, suppository or fish shaped.

Tapioca softgel sizes and shapes

Sizes of Tapioca Starch Softgels

Note that the capsules vary depending on the capacity of the material to be filled.

The content ranges from 0.1 to 30ml.

You can use these images to choose the right color, shape, and size for your Tapioca Starch Softgels

Tapioca Starch Softgel Manufacturing Equipment

Different types of equipment are required while producing Tapioca Starch Softgels.

The main one is the Softgel encapsulation machine or Softgel encapsulator.

It is simply an assembly of parts and components that plays a crucial role in producing Softgel capsules.

The machine, in this case, helps in the transformation of Tapioca starch together with other ingredients into Softgel capsules.

It also aids in filling the capsules with the right dosage forms that could be semisolid, liquid, or suspension.

The working principle of this machine as you will learn in the next section is very simple.

The process may take the form of a plate, or a rotary dies process, but mostly the later to fill the capsules.

But is this the only equipment used in the manufacturing of Tapioca Starch Softgels?

Well, no.

As I said, several equipment is used, and the Softgel encapsulator is just the main machine.

Support equipment used in Tapioca starch Softgel manufacturing include;

  • Softgel Polishing machine
  • Softgel pulverizer
  • Softgel sorting machine
  • Softgel inspection machine
  • Medicine mixing tank for liquid material preparation.
  • Medicine service tank
  • Vacuum mixer
  • Drying trays for drying and setting the Softgel capsules.
  • Colloid mill for material grinding processes
  • Softgel tooling

These are the main and supporting equipment used in Tapioca Softgel manufacturing.

For how they work to produce capsules ultimately, proceed to the next section.

Tapioca Starch Softgels Encapsulation Process

Softgels are made of the base material, in this case, tapioca, plasticizer, and water.

They may also contain preservatives, flavorings, colorings, sugars, acids, and medicaments to achieve the desired effects.

So how do you combine all these to produce fully molded Softgel capsules?

Well for starters, you begin by mixing the starch with water, ensuring that the ratio is appropriate.

You then add a plasticizer to the mixture to make the Softgel elastic and pliable.

If you need color, this where you add coloring, followed by an opacifier if you are looking to produce opaque Softgels.

Note that opaque Softgels are suitable where the fill material is a suspension.

Or, when there is a need to protect against photodegradation of light-sensitive fill ingredients.

Next, take the gel and pour in a service tank on heat and stir gently.

Keep stirring and heating until you achieve the desired molten mass.

Now transfer the molten mass to the encapsulation bay where it will be pumped to the encapsulation machine.

Immediately pumping begins, two ribbons of gel will form, one on either side of the machine.

The ribbons will be fed continuously into a rotating die assembly that’ll determine the shape and size of the capsules.

Here is how a rotary die machine looks like;

Rotary die machine for softgels

Rotary die machine for Softgel capsules

In the rotating die assembly, the two ribbons will simultaneously form into two halves of a capsule.

They will then converge adjacent to a filling injector.

The injector is then actuated by a pump that measures and dispenses the appropriate dosage of fill material into the capsules.

The now filled capsules subsequently seal as the dies rotate.

Following encapsulation, you will direct all the capsules on to a tumble dryer.

In the dryer, sterile air will forcefully flow in to remove moisture from the capsule shells.

After this step, you can now remove the partially dry capsules and put on them on trays for final drying and setting.

At this point, the Tapioca Starch Softgels are ready and filled with appropriate dosage forms.

What remains is for you to sort out oversize and undersize capsules from the batch.

Also, remove any malformed, damaged or improperly filled capsules here.

After you’re done with this, you can proceed to package.

Ensure that you use glass or airtight plastic bags.

Tapoica softgel encapsulation machine

Tapioca Softgel encapsulation machine

Please note;

Tapioca search Softgel manufacturing follows an exact process.

This involves strict control and testing of ingredients to ensure compliance with pharmacopeia specifications.

The following key elements are always put under close monitoring to ensure the production of quality Softgel capsules.

  • The Gel temperature
  • The Fill material temperature
  • The gel Ribbon thickness
  • fill capacity
  • seal width
  • Gel and fill moisture
  • Capsule hardness at the end of the drying process.

That’s it!

Uses of Tapioca Starch Softgel

Tapioca Starch Softgels can have a range of applications.

First of all, they are widely used to encapsulate prescription medicine in the pharmaceutical industry

These Softgels are also popular in the encapsulation of nutritional supplements such as vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids.

Customers on strict vegan diets prefer Tapioca Starch Softgels as they are both vegetarian and bioavailable.

Other than these, starch Softgelscan also be used to fill natural herbal medicines that are hard to ingest due to their bitter taste and foul-smell.

There are many other applications of Tapioca Starch Softgels, but these are the three main ones.

So if you’re looking for a more health-friendly capsule coat material, try tapioca starch.

You will love the results, and the benefits of it are just amazing.


Well, that was a good read.

Unfortunately, every good thing must come to an end, and this is it.

As we wind up, I hope that this guide has helped answer most if not all your questions regarding Tapioca Starch Softgels.

If you have more questions whose answers we’ve not covered here, please feel free to comment below.

Or contact usdirectly.

Otherwise, thanks for reading!

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