This website uses cookies for improving and personalising our services and marketing.

Full information can be seen on our Privacy Policy.

Accept Cookies
Like Us!
Watch Us!
Follow Us!
Contact Us!

Providing enabling technologies to support you from Discovery to Delivery.



Coating is the unit operation referring to the application of an outer layer of coating material onto the dry surface of the drug dosage form. This coating material provides not only easier product identification, but even advances the drug’s pharmacokinetic properties by modifying drug release: ensuring that the drug reaches its target site and provides enough concentration in the body for a prolonged period of time.

Coating can be applied to a wide range of oral solid dosage forms including tablets, capsules, multiparticulates and drug crystals. The most commonly coated dosage form, however, are the tablets, followed by coated multiparticulates which have gained popularity since.

Reasons for coating pharmaceutical dosage forms vary, but the more common reasons are to:

  • Mask the taste of unpleasant tasting APIs and excipients.
  • Improve product appearance
  • Aid in the rapid identification of product by the manufacturer, the pharmacist, and the patient.
  • Provide modified-release characteristics for an efficient drug delivery rate and ensure it reaches target site.
  • Improve product stability by protecting the API from light and moisture during storage.

Coating Techniques

  • Film coating
    A very popular technique, owing to a number of coated products in the market. Film coating involves the deposition, usually by a spraying method, of a thin polymer film to surround the tablet, capsule or multiparticulate core.
  • Sugar coating
    Since the late 19th century, this traditional process has been used in the pharmaceutical industry, and it closely resembles the process for coating sweets. This unit operation involves the continuous application of sucrose-based coating onto tablet cores via coating equipment. In this process, water evaporates from the syrup to leave a thick sugar layer around each tablet. Mostly, sugar coats are highly coloured and shiny.
  • Compression coating
    In the preparation of modified release products, use and popularity of this process has greatly increased. It is essentially a dry process which involves the compression of granules around a preformed tablet core using specially designed tableting equipment.

Esco Pharma’s experienced team of designers and engineers can help in designing a completely integrated manufacturing equipment: from the granulation, drying, blending, and even coating process of pharmaceutical manufacturing. All of this to ensure the protection of operators, product, and the environment from possible cross-contamination or unwanted occupational exposure.


  1. Anonymous (2020). Retrieved 30 July 2020, from
  2. Aulton, M. (2010). Aulton’s Pharmaceutics: The design and manufacture of medicines (3rd ed.). Elsevier.
  3. Bates, G. (2020). Why Small Molecules Are Still a Big Deal. Retrieved 25 July 2020, from
  4. Differences between Biologics and Small Molecules. (2020). Retrieved 30 July 2020, from
  5.  Pharmaceutical Drug Development (Small Molecules / Large Molecules). (2020). Retrieved 30 July 2020, from
  6. Tablet Press: Types, functional parts, how it works, advantages.. (2020). Retrieved 30 July 2020, from
  7. Viñes, M. (2020). Small Molecule Injectable Manufacturing: Challenges and Complexities. Retrieved 28 July 2020, from

Recommended Products