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Pharmaceutical glaze is an alcohol-based solution of various types of food-grade shellac. The shellac is derived from the raw material sticklac, which is a resin scraped from the branches of trees left from when the small insect, laccifer lacca, creates a hard, waterproof cocoon. When used in food and confections, it is also known as confectioner's glaze, resinous glaze, pure food glaze, or natural glaze.
Pharmaceutical glaze may contain denatured alcoholic solution of 20–51% shellac, waxes, and titanium dioxide as an opacifying agent.
Pharmaceutical glaze is used by the drug and nutritional supplement industry as a coating material for tablets and capsules. It serves to improve the product's appearance, extend shelf life and protect it from moisture, as well as provide a solid finishing film for pre-print coatings. It also serves to mask unpleasant odors and aid in the swallowing of the tablet.
The shellac coating is insoluble in stomach acid and may make the tablet difficult for the body to break down or assimilate. For this reason, it can also be used as an ingredient in time-released, sustained or delayed-action pills. The product is listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's inactive ingredient list.
- Smolinske, Susan C. (1992). Handbook of Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Excipients. CRC Press. p. 347. ISBN 0-8493-3585-X.
- Flinn, Angel. "Shellac and Food Glaze". Retrieved 2013-11-13.
- Blech, Zushe Yosef (2004). Kosher Food Production. Blackwell Publishing. p. 275. ISBN 0-8138-2570-9. "Many candies are polished with "confectioner's glaze." otherwise known as "resinous glaze." The base of this material is shellac, which is derived from the lac insect. Although most Kashrus organizations accept this material, some do not."
- Adams, Cecil (1992). "The Straight Dope: Is some candy coated with beetle juice?". Creative Loafing Media, Inc. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- "FDA Inactive Ingredients Database". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Klahorst, Suanne J. (September 1999). "Credible Edible Films". Food Product Design. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
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