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Novel non-hygroscopic effervescent formulations

Scientists at the University of Bradford have recently developed a non hygroscopic effervescent formulation which increases the stability of the formulation in the presence of small amounts of moisture in the atmosphere and addresses the challenges in effervescent product manufacturing, packaging and subsequent storage.

tablets dissolving in a glass

The problem

The global market for effervescent products is estimated in the multi $billion and covers a wide range of industries including pharmaceutical, healthcare and household cleaning. However, the manufacture of effervescent formulations (powders/tablets) is not straight-forward as moisture in the atmosphere leads to the initiation of the neutralisation reaction between the key ingredients, degrading the product and rendering unusable. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that organic acids are hygroscopic and readily absorb moisture from the atmosphere; this is enhanced when the acids are mixed with other excipients typical of most formulations. As a consequence manufacturing is performed at low humidity in specialist units in which the level of moisture is regulated. The controlled thermo-hygrometric conditions, high maintenance cost of processing equipment and special packaging materials make manufacturing of effervescent preparation expensive and challenging.

Images of four different dishes of powder

Application

The key benefit of effervescent solid products is their ability to quickly dissolve in water, giving a convenient solid formulation that can quickly become a liquid formulation, this benefit is used over a range of industries, for example, OTC medicines, food supplements, dental hygiene, household cleaners, detergents, agrochemicals and the market value is thought to be in the multi $billion region.

A table of images showing effects of water resistant effervescent powder and tablets

Benefits

The benefits of non-hygroscopic effervescent formulations:

  • Allows processing without the necessity of a humidity controlled environment.
  • Significantly reduces the energy costs associated with manufacturing.
  • Avoids need for specialised equipment, standard granulating and tabletting equipment can be used.
  • Reduces equipment costs and gives more flexibility to the manufacturing plant.
  • Negates need for specialist storage requirements for final products
  • Avoids need for specialised packaging material

Opportunity    

The University of Bradford is seeking industrial partners for co-development of the technology or product specific development using the technology with the view to out-licensing the technology to the industrial partner.

IP Status          Proof of concept data has been generated

                        GB Priority application filed July 2014