Vegetable Capsules Are A Healthier Alternative
There are now more vegetarians in our present society than before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made a
change in the Four Basic Food Groups in the early 1990s. They recommended that more whole grain foods, fruits and
vegetables be added to the daily food intake. This started the steady increase of people eating vegetarian diets.
It eventually made vegetarianism a part of mainstream society instead of just being a niche market. Since then,
more and more products are developed to cater for the growing number of people going on vegan diets.
The industry producing vitamin supplements are also affected. Vegetarians began seeking for supplemental
products that do not contain animal by-products in them. Thus, instead of gelatin caps, vegetarians want their
health supplements encased in vegetarian caps. All gel caps are made from animal by-products and they are not
suited for a vegetarian. To them, eating animal based foods is not a healthy way of living.
This reasoning is not without basis because eating foods derived from animals and animal products causes medical
problems in some people. This is just talking about animals which are fed with organic foods without chemical
additives and synthetic supplements. We have to consider that nowadays, most farm animals where our animal foods
come from, are fed with a wide array of chemically and synthetically grown foods.
What Are Vegetarian Capsules?
In the past, all capsules were
made of gelatin. Even vegetarians in those days have taken gelatin capsules simply because they are the only
ones available then. But with the increased awareness about the consequences of eating animal products, and
the growing market for vegetarian products, many manufacturers are now producing different kinds of vegetarian
The first vegetarian capsules are actually made of HPMC, a semi-synthetic product which incorporates a plant
cellulose-based shell. Another material by which veggie capsules are made of is pullulan which is produced from
starch made by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. These organic plant alternatives to animal-based gelatin are
ideal for making edible coating and blends well with moisture sensitive substances.
Advantages of Vegetarian Capsules
Since they are plant-based foods, vegetarian capsules have
some decided advantages over gelatin capsules. Here are some of them.
• Unlike gelatin capsules, vegetarian capsules will not cause allergies to people who have sensitive
skin. Hypersensitivity to cow and bovine products triggers itchiness and hives when gelatin capsules are taken.
There will be no such problems when veggie capsules are taken.
• Those who have kidney and liver problems can now take their supplements with veggie caps without
worrying about the side effects. Before, they can’t take their supplements because of the protein contained in
gelatin capsules. Their liver and kidneys have to work hard to excrete the protein contained in the gelatin
• Vegetarian capsules are also friendly to people who are eating Kosher foods. Since these capsules do not
contain any animal by-product, they are sure that what they are eating is really “clean” food with no traces of
• With vegetarian capsules, you are sure that there are no chemical additives or traces of anti-biotics in
the supplements that you are taking.
• The thought that you are eating an all-natural product puts you in a more positive mental state –
knowing that it is your health that benefit the most.
Uses Of Vegetarian Capsules
As in gelatin capsules, vegetarian capsules are also used for
encapsulating all sorts of substances such as medicines and vitamin supplements. As already mentioned, they are a
healthier alternative to gelatin capsules. That means the utilization of gelatin capsules are also the same with
veggie capsules. The only difference is the material they are made of.
Sizes And Colors Of Vegetarian Capsules
The typical sizes of vegetarian capsules are the same as the sizes of gelatin capsules. Empty vegetarian capsules
are also available in sizes starting from 1, 0, 00 and 000. The contents of size “0” are also the same with gel
caps which is about 400 to 800 milligrams.
Manufacturers have tried to make vitamin capsules more appealing to the consumer by producing them in different
colors. Like gelatin capsules, you can also buy empty veggie capsules that are colorless, or with colors such as
red, orange, pink, green or blue.
The Future Of Vegetarian Capsules
With the increasing demand for more naturally grown and organic food, the demand for vitamins and medicines encased
in vegetarian capsules is expected to rise. Statistics showed that there is a 46% rise in sales of vegetarian
capsules. It is interesting to note that this rise in demand is co-related to the decrease in other similar forms
of products, including those which are at the top of the list. This only indicates that consumers are getting more
and more conscious about their health.