How do they make vitamin tablets?


Where does the vitamin come from and how do they make it into pills?

In: Technology

Vitamins can be derived from plant or animal products, or produced synthetically in a laboratory. Vitamin A, for example, can be derived from fish liver oil, and vitamin C from citrus fruits or rose hips. Vitamin C is water soluble, so all you need do is crush or grind the plant material and then shake it up with water. A common method is to grind the material with some clean sand in a mortar with a pestle. The material can then be filtered or centrifuged to get rid of the debris. The vitamin C will be in the water. The water is removed and what is left is made into tablets.

Producing it synthetically just means that we have learned what basic chemicals make up the vitamin. Those chemicals in a very purified form are mixed together and put into tablets.

Most commercial vitamins are made from synthetic vitamins, which are cheaper and easier to produce than natural derivatives. So vitamin A may be synthesized from acetone, and vitamin C from keto acid. There is no chemical difference between the purified vitamins derived from plant or animal sources and those produced synthetically. That said, some people react differently to the different versions and have a preference for one type or the other.

Something I can answer, (at least the pills part). I work in a pharmaceutical company, and we produce Vitamine B pills, and more stuff like that. So we get all the resources delivered as powder (usually cellulose and lactose + the desired vitamin) it then gets mixed and basically watered and dried again. We then compress the dried mix on a machine and bum. Pills done. Some are also coated with some kind of film so they are prettier or can survive your stomach etc.