What is the Wurster fluid-bed process used for?
Wurster fluid-bed coatings have been used for a number of purposes including improved stability and shelf life; controlled, sustained, or delayed release; taste or odor masking; dust control; minor component content uniformity (uniform application to a carrier or major formulation component); improved flow characteristics; safety; and many other applications.
Commercial uses have included but are not limited to the following:
Coating of pharmaceuticals can help ensure stability and prolong the shelf life of reactive ingredients. Coating is an effective way of masking the taste or odor of a particular drug to make a palatable product. Delayed, enteric, sustained, or extended release can be achieved with application of coatings on drug containing beads, pellets, or particles. Capsules can be coated for improved capsule barrier or release properties.
The Wurster Process is used to encapsulate vitamins, minerals, and functional food ingredients. Food ingredients can be coated to mask an undesirable flavor or to improve stability and shelf life. Thin or partial coatings are very effective in reducing the caking of certain materials. Extended release of flavors in products such as chewing gum can be achieved using the Wurster fluid-bed coating process.
Nutritional ingredients can require a coating to optimize stability of an ingredient or product. Ingredient release properties can be optimized to achieve the intended health benefits.
Nutrients, medicine and other additives can be taste-masked to improve palatability for the animals. Medicaments can be stabilized by protective coatings. Coatings can also be used to control the release after ingestion.
Coatings of chemicals can provide controlled or delayed release properties, change absorption or surface properties, or isolate an active chemical in a mixture. The Wurster process can use a wide variety of coating materials permitting great flexibility in product design.
Seeds can be coated for easier handling to increase their size and allow them to be planted by machine. Coating can contain pesticides and/or nutrients to improve germination and crop yields. Rodenticides can be coated to provide taste masking and controlled release properties.