Some history with HPMC capsules and dietary supplements
When HPMC capsules first hit the main-stream supplement market in the mid 90’s, I was an encapsulation operator, running high speed Bosch filling equipment for a contract manufacturing company. We were an experienced group, running three shifts, and producing over a billion capsules annually. Our operation at the time was attuned to running gelatin capsules at maximum machine speeds, and aimed for the highest possible quality. I remember when our production manager brought in some new capsules for us to try, they were called “veggie” capsules. The capsules were plant-based, instead of the animal-based gelatin we were accustomed to using. Immediately noticeable upon inspection was the difference in appearance. We held them side-by-side next to gelatin capsules and the difference was night and day. Even when empty, veggie-caps did not have the crystal-clear, highly-polished look which gelatin capsules had; rather, they were cloudy and dull in appearance, and even had a rough exterior texture could be felt by hand, distinguishable with your eyes closed.