How To Create A Tablet Mix
Welcome to the LFA video on how to create an easy mix for your tablet press. We've already done a five-part video on a complicated way to actually calculate the amount of mix required, and a lot of people have pointed out to us, and said to us, "That's quite difficult." So today we're just going to do a quick run-down of a much more simple way to calculate a tablet or pill mix. This way shouldn't be used so much for when you're doing things that have got a really, really high tolerance, so kind of one minimum gram doses, or for abnormal products such as ginseng or Ginkgo biloba.
If you want really, really high percentages of your active in there this method won't work so easily. This is quite a simple way to create a mix.
Today I'm going to be creating caffeine tablets. One of the most important things when creating a mix for tablet making is that all of the particle sizes are as close to each other as possible. Now, ultimately, you want to use a method called granulation to get them all to exactly the same size. But with something like caffeine powder, as you can see it comes very lumpy inside the bag, it's easy enough just to sieve it through. So we're going to say that we've got about 100 grams of caffeine powder together and we're going to make up a mix for 100 grams of caffeine powder. What we're going to is we're going to aim to get this caffeine powder into 100 milligram tablets, 100 milligrams of active, that being. And the rest of it will be made up out of binding agents and flowing agents (excipients).
So we've got 100 grams of caffeine powder inside the sieve there. The next thing we need is a binding agent. Now, the caffeine powder is actually very good at binding in itself. This property is known as being directly compressible. So our caffeine powder is directly compressible. An example of something that is not directly compressible would be creatine. It's very crystalline and that doesn't tend to bind so well on itself. So with caffeine tablets you don't actually need a lot of binder. In fact, caffeine can often form a part of a binding role in a weight-loss tablet. However, if you were to just do 100 milligram caffeine tablets with just the flowing agents to get them to move into the die, this would leave you with a very small aesthetically pleasing tablet.
So we're going to add some binder to it as well to it. We're going to add 100 grams of microcrystalline cellulose. Microcrystalline Cellulose is a really, really great binder. It's very, very directly compressible, and it actually forms most of the pharmaceutical tablets in the market today. On top of this, we're going to need to add some magnesium stearate. Magnesium Stearate is a lubricant, it helps the powder move into the dye and it helps the tablet move out of the dye once it's been compressed. If you add too much magnesium stearate, you get a problem called capping. So make sure not to add too much. I would reckon anywhere between, maybe 1% and 5% depending on your product. So 2% on this would be six grams out of the total 300 grams. So we're going to add six grams of that.
And then on top of that we're going to add a product called Dicalcium Phosphate. Dicalcium Phosphate has a very, very high molecular weight. It's very a lot like sand. It's very, very dense and this will drag our powders down into the machine. If you're working with products that are very, very poor at flowing, dicalcium phosphate can really, really help that. It can drag the item down into the dye and it can give you a much higher tablet consistency.
Finally, just as an optional extra, and just so I can show you guys, we're actually going to colour these caffeine tablets orange. We used to use a product called Natrosol to do our colouring, but recently we found these food-grade pigments which are just so much better. They just instantly dye anything. With these you only need to put about 10 grams in a kilo to get a really, really solid colour, so I'm literally just adding the smallest bit in there.
The next thing that we need to do is put this into our VH mixer, which is also available from LFA. Check out the video. And then we will head over to our TDP 5 and we will take a look at tuning it up for this mix. So we've just finished running our bag of powder through the VH8 mixer. I added a bit. I thought, if I was going to do a run, I might as well do a decent sized one.
Here we go, we've got the orange powder that's been run. We're just going to add this to the hopper of the TDP 5. Now, when we make this mix, we made the ratio of one part caffeine to two parts binder and flowing agent. I did forget to mention that LFA actually produce a Tablet Ready Mix called Firmapress, and this has all of your binders, flowers and filling agents that you actually need already inside it, and you can order it in any colour. So if you want to take away the hassle of doing that section, we can definitely do that for you. If you were to order our Firmapress (Ready Mix), at this stage you would have put two parts Firmapress (Ready Mix) to one part caffeine, so 100 grams of caffeine to two parts of Firmapress (Ready Mix), to 200 grams of Firmapress (Ready Mix). Once we've added the powder to the machine, we need to get our average tablet weighed out as it is at the moment before adjusting our punch die.
So if I just quickly turn the machine on. The best thing to do is to have approximately 10 tablets on the machine from which to calculate your average weight on. So there we go, I've got a few more than 10 there, but.. three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. There we go. So I've got 10 tablets. I've got some really high accuracy scales here that do down to 10 milligrams, so they do zero, zero, zero after the point. Triple zeros. If we just pop the 10 tablets on here... And once we put the 10 tablets on there, we're getting 1.7 grams which works out to be 170 milligrams each, so we know that at the moment they are 130 milligrams short of where we want them to be.
So after increasing the fill depth to get us up to 300 milligrams, I've also increased the punch pressure and I've tuned the machine up, and you can watch how to do that in How to Make a Good Tablet, which is also available on our website or our YouTube channel. This is now the actual tablet that we're coming out with. It's just a smidgen under 300 milligrams, which using the two to one ratio that we've produced, will give us 100 milligram caffeine tablet. All I have to do now turn on the machine and it's off.