Capsule vs Tablet: What’s the Difference?

Capsules and tablets in wooden spoon next to fruite

If you’ve been in the supplement industry for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered both capsules and tablets. But, if you’re new to the industry, it is likely that you aren’t always clear on what makes each one different. Here is a short run-down of their key characteristics to help you better understand the difference between capsules and tablets.

Supplement Capsules vs. Tablets: How They Differ

Supplements come in both the form of a tablet or capsule. Many of us take supplements in capsule form and think they are the same thing as their tablet counterparts because they look similar. Although they have commonalities, there is a distinct difference between the two. Let’s dive in.

What is a Capsule?

A capsule is an enclosed hard or soft-soluble container made up of gelatin, cellulose, or other materials that are easy to digest. The main difference between capsules vs. tablets is the way your supplement ingredients are “housed”. A capsule houses the ingredients in an exterior casing while a tablet does not.

With supplements, two types of capsules are common in the industry: hard-shelled capsules and soft-gel capsules.

Capsule Types: Hard-Shelled Capsules

Hard-shelled capsules

A hard-shelled capsule consists of two halves to create a soluble casing. These two halves are called the body and the cap. These two pieces to the capsule fit into each other seamlessly—encasing the ingredients of the supplement. Hard-shelled capsules are a great option for dual-action or extended-release formulas.

Capsule Types: Soft-Gel Capsules

soft-gel capsule

A soft-gel capsule looks similar to hard-shelled capsules, but this type of capsule contains ingredients suspended in gelatin or other similar mediums. It is quick to release and absorb supplement ingredients.

Pros of Capsules

So, why do supplement companies choose capsules? Some of the pros of capsules include:

  • Higher Bioavailability – Capsules are fast-acting and absorb in the body quicker than tablets
  • No Taste – With capsules, you won’t be left with a bad taste in your mouth after taking it
  • Tamper-Proof – Capsules can’t be altered like tablets can be

Now that we went over everything you need to know about capsules, let’s talk about tablets.

What is a Tablet?

Green tablets falling out of a battle

Tablets are another common way to house supplements. Tablets are made by compressing the powdered ingredients with a binding agent to form a solid pill. Some of the most common binding agents include starch, cellulose, or methocel.

Pros of Tablets

What are the biggest pros of selecting tablets over capsules? Tablets have many advantages such as:

  • They can be formulated in a variety of shapes (flat, round, or oval)
  • They’re inexpensive compared to capsules
  • Tablets can easily be split down the middle (if needed)
  • They have a longer shelf-life

After learning about both the specifics of capsules and tablets, you are probably curious about the manufacturing process. As a premier supplement manufacturer, we are the perfect source to walk you through it.

How It’s Made: Supplement Capsules

There are many steps that we undergo to ensure that we provide you with quality capsules. To simplify it, we’ve broken the process down into these 3 steps:

Step 1: The first step in the manufacturing process is to create the shell for the capsule. A machine drops the mixture into individual molds. The mixture hardens and takes the form of a capsule. It is then sent through a machine that removes any air bubbles from the capsules.

Step 2: Once the empty shells are created, they are filled with ingredients. They enter a machine that carefully fills each capsule with its contents. Afterward, they are sent through another machine that seals the capsule shut.

Step 3: At this point, it’s time for quality control. A random sample of finished products is tested to make sure they meet label requirements and contain no contaminants or microbes that could harm consumers. If they pass inspection, they are released to be packaged and sold.

Capsule Manufacturing for Supplements with Equinox Nutra

After making it this far, you may be curious about which is better: tablets or capsules?

At Equinox Nutra, we prefer capsules over tablets. Why? It’s simple. Capsules are more bioavailable than tablets. This means that your supplement will hit the bloodstream quicker, giving your consumers the nutrients they need, quickly.

Although tablets are cheaper to make, we don’t believe in cutting corners and neither should you. Additionally, you can have peace of mind knowing that we only partner with organic, non-GMO, certified suppliers to make products with the purest raw materials on the market.

If you sell natural, premiere supplements and need a supplement manufacturer, look no further. Contact us to get a quote today for capsule manufacturing for supplements!