CPHI: Clariant showcases healthcare packaging moisture-control solutions


Highlights EQ-PAK moisture-control packets and EQ-CAN canisters

Clariant, a supplier of speciality chemicals, showcased its ability to deliver customised humidity control in pharma packaging at the show.

Standard desiccant products, which Clariant also supplies, remove substantially all humidity in pharmaceutical packaging and effectively prevent hydrolytic degradation and extend the shelf-life of many drugs. However, some pharma products may need more or less moisture to stay effective and require a more customised solution provided by Clariant’s EQ-PAK moisture-control packets and EQ-CAN canisters.

The ability of a micronised drug powder to reach into a patient’s lungs when dispensed by a dry-powder inhaler (DPI), for example, can be strongly influenced by moisture. Excessive moisture can increase adhesive or cohesive forces between particles and alter particle size distribution. Excessive dehydration, on the other hand, will increase the electrostatic charge of the particles. Both can adversely affect the fluidisation of the powder when patients inhale.

Another example is seen in gelatin capsules that enclose liquid or solid drugs. To maintain the integrity of the capsule over time, the gelatin forming the capsule needs to be plasticised by a significant amount of water. In a low-humidity environment, capsules may lose moisture and become brittle. Under high-humidity conditions, they will gain moisture and soften or fuse together. Because the physical stability of gelatin capsules is primarily associated with the gain or loss of moisture, packaging options are often limited. Active control of the humidity level within the packaging headspace – using Clariant’s EQ-PAK and EQ-CAN products – can provide new options for pharma packagers.

'While hydrolytic degradation of drugs can be addressed by removing substantially all humidity entering the packaging, other pharmaceutical properties may require maintaining a certain headspace humidity within a specific range throughout a product’s shelf life,' said Elisa Le Floch, Business Development Manager., Clariant Healthcare Packaging.

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Clariant's EQ-PAK packets and EQ-CAN canisters are specially engineered sorbents that can act as humectants (desorbers) and desiccants (adsorbers) simultaneously, maintaining a particular equilibrium relative humidity (ERH) inside product packaging.