Hermes adapts food coating technique for API taste masking

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hermes adapts food coating technique for API taste masking
Hermes Pharma has added hot melt coating capabilities to its offering and hopes the food industry technique will win it pharma customers with unpleasant tasting APIs.

The contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) announced the new in hot melt coating (HMC) offering today, explaining that a research project it conducted with researchers in Austria prompted the investment.

A Hermes spokesperson told us the new coating offering will be based at the firm's facility in Wolfsberg, Germany where it has installed a Romaco Innojet Ventilus V-100 system.

She also suggested the investment in HMC is something new for the contracting sector, telling us "we are not aware of any competitors offering contract manufacturing services for HMC in the pharmaceutical industry.

"Before we started our research project we were looking for a contract manufacturer to support us but could not find one who was capable of doing HMC under GMP conditions​."

Food technology

HMC was developed by the food industry to prevent ingredients in ready meals absorbing too much water. The process involves covering the desired ingredient with a molten coating material that then solidifies to create a homogenous coating

In industrial food applications the idea is to coating ingredients to prevent them releasing volatile flavour compounds until they are heated. Hermes’ use of HMC is more focused on masking the taste of bitter active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Working with researchers from Karl Franzens University Graz, the Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH (RCPE) and INNOJET Herbert Hüttlin, Hermes examined how HMC could be used to coat the soar tasting API, Acetylcysteine.

The scientists managed to make an oral formulation of the drug that masked the taste of acetylcysteine with the desired immediate release profile. They also developed a PAT and QbD based approach to in-process monitoring they claim saves time and money.

Hermes said that: “The technology has been scaled-up from laboratory to production, meeting the strict standards for pharmaceutical production (GMP) and can be transferred to other APIs​.”

It added that: “HMC technology could also be applied to other dosage forms, for example Orally Disintegrating Tablets (ODTs) and Multiple Unit Pellet System (MUPS)”​ going on to say that “two related patents have been successfully filed​.”

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