If you have ever cooked chicken, you’ll notice that the soup becomes solid if leftover for a day or two despite the temperature. Most individuals confuse this with the presence of fat and oils because they display a similar character when leftover. For chickens, that is not the case, the reason why that happens is due to something that scientists call chemical binders. A binder is something that, due to some factors, pulls things together. A better term for that meaning would be that it possess cohesion. To better understand what this means, think about liquid plastic or liquid glass.
Liquid glass, as well as liquid plastic, display a similar character when left over to cool. They reduce themselves to occupy the smallest area they can and assume a solid structure. Many substances exhibit similar behavior and one of them being what made chicken soup able to do that. The ingredient in chicken responsibility is called gelatin; it has far much better uses for its other gifts, yet for cohesion, manufacturing tablets becomes a suitable use. This is because it is inactive with a variety of chemicals while simultaneously able to hold ingredients as a solid unit.
Gelatin is not only sourced from chicken but several other animals and it’s classified with a list of organic binders. Due to its organic nature, gelatin contributes a big portion of what makes a pill’s expiry date. It’s however cheaply available, making it very resourceful in the medical industry as a binding agent. In tablet making, that’s what’s responsible for holding components together if that can’t happen automatically. That’s not always the case, since some tablets are built from ingredients that naturally stick together when compressed with a certain amount of force. Most drug ingredients already do that, so it’s important to do a background check about your ingredients to know if a joiner is necessary.
Because gelatin drastically reduces the lifespan of a drug, scientists in the 90s started working on a new joiner that would work similarly to gelatin. When you drink coffee from a mug and finish it, the mug forms a sticky substance inside if left over for some time. This sticky substance is formed partly due to the coffee itself and partly due to sugars. The part that makes coffee sticky can be used as a binder but it’s expensive to extract. If extracted, it makes the perfect binder and muffles all tastes of the drug, making bitter ingredients undercover. The expiry date is not affected either, coffee lasts for long without expiry, its structure is not as complicated or weak.
The part of stickiness that is sugar gets used a lot as a binder in medicine. Not only are sugar-based joiners unreactive with a huge deal of even the strongest chemicals, but they completely cannot expire and are cheaply available anywhere. Scientists better refer to it as sucrose rather than sugar reason being in pill making, it does not get used in its crystalline form. Sucrose powder is currently the number binder used to make all kinds of drugs from tablets to even capsules. The power of cohesion is strong enough, enabling pills to maintain a definite shape. For diabetics, drugs using sucrose as a joiner are highly inadvisable and so are they for other medical conditions as well.
It’s something important in pill manufacturing to know what kind of market is consuming a drug; this is only one factor amid a list of many. The type of binding agent that gets used is also a candidate for checkups by authorities to make sure that it is helpful to all people. The relationship of sugar with many health issues is what leads it to not being used as a joiner in most companies. Sugar still gets used, but these companies make sure to include detailed documentation to warn users, even users, that it is part of simple things like diets.
An alternative to sugar getting used, natural stickiness was found to be present in both milk and beeswax. The one in milk is called lactose powder and it shares quite some similarity with sugars. It also brings forth health issues for people who are lactose intolerant so drugs made with it undergo the same process as drugs made with sucrose powder. Beeswax makes a good binding agent except that the body cannot digest it, leading to the manufacture of drugs that take a significant amount of time to take effect. Due to these problems, Tapioca Powder was now found to be the ideal binding agent and it makes up about 60% of commercially available drugs. Tapioca powder is flour extracted from the cassava plant, has a reasonable expiry life, has completely no health complications whatsoever and is a good binding agent.