Vcaps® Plus Capsules

An immediate release capsule for pharmaceutical products in HPMC-only, without gelling agents. Vcaps® Plus capsules offer excellent dissolution profile with pH-independent performance, low moisture content, great machinability and visual quality.
Pharmaceutical Applications
Nutraceutical Applications


Polymer science and engineering have opened a new era of functional development, which offers the potential for selecting the right capsule for different APIs. Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules represent a unique and valuable contribution—they dissolve quickly and predictably at different pH levels and are independent of cations or other food components. Under these conditions, they perform like gelatin. 

They also offer additional advantages, particularly a lower moisture content, which makes them suitable for hygroscopic and moisture-sensitive drugs and manufacturing processes. Because of the low moisture sensitivity, you have a range of storage options with less chance for brittleness or breakage. 

HPMC capsules are inert and robust against cross-linking or the effects of extreme storage conditions. They show excellent mechanical properties for manufacturing and come from a renewable, plant-based resource that’s accepted by the global regulatory community. Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules have the appearance and performance of gelatin while providing important new options to scientists around the world. 

Vegetarian and Religious Certifications Improve Reception for Patients and Consumers Alike

Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules are approved by the Vegetarian Society, non-GMO Project verified and are Kosher and Halal certified addressing important requirements for patients and consumers alike. That is because Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules are manufactured in accordance with IPEC’s (International Pharmaceutical Excipient Council) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Guide for Bulk Pharmaceutical Excipients, in facilities which are ISO 9001 certified. Their gelatin-like appearance and shiny surface help to reinforce the commonly held consumer attitude that capsules are easy to swallow (1).

*Please note: Empty transparent and colored capsules are vegan certified. Empty capsules containing the colorant carmine are not vegan certified. Imprinted empty capsules are vegan certified if imprinted with shellac free ink.

Excellent Machinability and Mechanical Stability

Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules have lower weight variations than first generation HPMC capsules and a weight-range profile that more closely mimics that of a gelatin capsule. Electron micrographs of Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules show that they have a smooth and even surface, which suggest higher quality performance in manufacturing (2). They have been thoroughly tested on a variety of high-speed capsule filling machines and demonstrate excellent performance with fewer than 0.01% rejects. In a recent review of more than 30 filling operations across a range of intermittent motion, continuous motion and semi-automatic machines, the Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules had an average yield rate of 99.86%, with a range from 99.782% to 100.0%.

Gelatin-Like Dissolution by Eliminating Gelling Agents

Secondary gelling agents and ionic gel promoters – used by some other HPMC capsules – may slow down release of active ingredients. Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules are made through a proprietary manufacturing process that eliminates the need for gelling systems. They disintegrate and release their contents independent of pH and ionic strength of the test media.

Influence of gelling systems on HPMC capsules in dissolution testing


In vitro dissolution of caffeine in Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus capsules

Vcaps-Plus-HPMC Capsules-Graph-2.v2.png#asset:41324

Why Choose Capsugel® Vcaps® Plus Capsules?
  • Immediate Release Capsule
  • Non-Animal Origin
  • Low Moisture Sensitivity
  • Solid Functionality and Performance


[1] BAS 117 – Capsugel Library – 1000 Patients Give Their Opinion on the Capsule

[2] Performance qualification of a New Hypromellose Capsule, Part 1. Comparative Evaluation of Physical, Mechanical and Processability Quality Attributes of Vcaps® Plus, Quali-V and Gelatin Capsules. M. Sherry Ku, et a. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 6 Nov 2009 (epub: 6 Nov 2009), ISSN: 183-3476