LAA encapsulation techniques

Can encapsulation techniques for ascorbic acid and other active ingredients be done at home?

If it can, where can I learn it? 


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Unlikely as you need special mixing equipment to encapsulate the material.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    You probably could do it with cheap equipment made in China and some dummy guidelines found on the internet... however, the point where you will fail is determining whether or not it actually worked and if it did, how much actives you've actually incorporated. The best theoretical approach is useless when you don't have any quality control of your practical application.
  • WingleWingle Member
    Thank you for your replies!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited January 4
    I would add that in practice encapsulation is a marketing story that doesn't work in real life. Even big corporations & raw material suppliers haven't solved some of the fundamental problems related to production.

    Either you make an encapsulated particle strong enough to withstand the formula manufacturing process which means it will be too strong to break open when a consumer uses the product.

    or you make an encapsulated product weaker so it breaks open when a consumer uses it, but then it just breaks open during manufacture.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    @Perry Good point! Encapsulations for pharmaceutical use fall often in one of the following categories: oral drugs, need to be stored in the fridge/freezer, are mostly experimental/proof of principle, or are liposomes and derivatives. They're also often used more or less plain with just a few other ingredients from a fairly short list.
    What's the point in using ascorbic acid packed liposomes when you can load an optimistical 10-50% but can't afford adding more than 5% liposomes to your cream?
  • Cafe33Cafe33 Member
    When I was having fun with encapsulation a few years ago, I bought a small coffee/spice grinder and drilled a small hole into top of the plastic removable cap. I was able to encapsulate orange essential oil. Carbopol 940 was the material that worked best and I dripped a very specific amount of water (or ethanol, I can't remember) into the hole I created all while mixing. The granules smelled very strongly and retained the odor for well over a year. To this day it still has a fairly strong smell going on 2 years. 

    The ones I created with PVP did not last as long, only a couple of weeks. Again, it was only experimental and only for scents not actives. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Cafe33 - yes, I can certainly see that there are some applications for encapsulation. And fragrance is one of the main ones. Although, in what you describe what would also have been nice to see is a control sample which had carbomer, the essential oil, etc but not put through your spice grinder process. Simply, just mixed with no attempt to encapsulate. Then compare the two samples side by side to see if the encapsulation made any noticeable difference.

    But having said that I don't doubt that ingredients can be encapsulated.  

    What I doubt is the process of taking an encapsulated ingredient, putting it into a finished formulation, and expecting that it is going to not break open during manufacture but it will break open when consumers use the product. 
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