Despite a name that makes it almost sound oxymoronic, the process of spray drying is integral to the success of the pharmaceutical industry. This process, which has also found success in the food and industrial industries as well, is key to creating many of the medications on shelves and in pharmacies that are used every day. Spray drying may seem like a newer invention, but its origins can be traced back to the late 1800s, showing just how important and how useful this process is to the industry.
The basic premise of this process is to take a liquid and create a solid from it, but it is slightly more complicated than that. The process begins by taking a liquid that contains whatever medicinal substance that will become the finished product, which is then heated quickly by a high temperature or drying gas. As the heat moves along the mixture, it removes the liquid component, collecting it in a chamber or chute, leaving the desired final product, the solid form of the drug. Spray drying requires tiny droplets of the liquid mixture to be successful, and because of this, flash drying occurs, making this process simple.
Spray drying is also incredibly useful because the process allows incredible flexibility when planning what the final product will be. Certain properties, such as the remaining moisture, size and density of the powder, as well as the final product’s texture and other attributes, are easily altered to meet the specific medication’s needs and demands. It can also create a combination of ingredients for maximum results, whether it be a long-term release pattern or for a decreased dosage schedule. Sometimes, this process can even be the most sterile and safe option for certain drug manufacturing, limiting the chance of contamination or damage between manufacturing and administration.
The global spray drying market, which consists of all industries utilizing this technology, was valued to be worth approximately $4.5 billion in 2020. In the five years following, driven by a compound annual growth rate of 5.7 percent, the market is expected to reach $6 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic in general did have an impact on the market, with many manufacturers having to decrease or halt production. However, the pharmaceutical side of the market continuously has showed promising growth. One such reason that likely is contributing to this is the increase of powdered medication meant to be inhaled to reach the lungs. Such therapies are useful when alternate methods of administration, including through tablets, run the risk of early degradation and may lose their potency before reaching their target.
Make sure you have what you need to properly fulfill all of your spray drying needs. Check out our inventory of spray drying equipment, as well as our inventory of encapsulation machines. You can also contact us today if there is something specific you are looking to purchase or if you have surplus equipment you would like to sell.
Previous Entries in Our Pharmaceutical Packaging Series