Whether oral solid dosage pharmaceuticals, drug delivery systems or diagnostic and medical devices, many healthcare products are susceptible to degradation and stability issues.

Colorcon is a leading specialist in controlled atmosphere packaging with indepth knowledge of moisture, oxygen and odor management inside healthcare packaging. Contact us for more details on which solution is the most suitable for your specific needs.


Gummies are a type of infused chewable that are typically sweetened and act as a dosage form in the pharmaceutical industry. Initially marketed for children to deliver vitamins and supplements, they are now expanding into adult dosages. Designed for even dissolution and gradual absorption by the gastrointestinal tract, their effectiveness is similar to other solid oral dosage forms (tablets, capsules, etc.). They are often made in the shape of a gum drop, gummy bears and other animals, or cartoon characters. Due to their unique composition, gummies come with challenges that need to be considered to maintain their integrity and deliver the active ingredient without compromising on their quality or shelf life. Colorcon offers a diverse range of products – from desiccant packets, to a number of unique solutions – PharmaKeep® canisters, EQIUS® capsules, and the particularly convenient OXYNOV® barrier bottle.

The challenges behind the production of gummy packaging

Gummies are a unique form of edible medicine that provide ease of administration and targeted delivery of active ingredients. They have been in use since the 1950s and have proven an excellent option for young children. Today, they are also made for adults and are available throughout most pharmacies and many grocery stores. Their attractive taste and similarity to gummy candies is their main selling point, making them an easier alternative to more traditional dosage forms. As a rule of thumb, the taste should be merely palatable. The reason behind this is the risk of very young children treating gummies like any other candy and indulging in a dose far above that prescribed.

When it comes to gummy packaging, the challenges are no less numerous. Gummies have been shown to have stability problems and overall have a shorter shelf life than other dosage forms. They are vulnerable to external environmental influences and care should be taken to ensure preservation. Without adequate protection they can lose potency over time.

Loss of potency can occur through oxygen degradation and oxidative reactions. These can be divided into two major forms – autoxidation and chain oxidation processes. Many foodstuffs (for gummies are ultimately a candy, regardless of their medical use) suffer from this problem. The mechanisms are, from a chemical point of view, rather simple, but their inhibition and prevention have proven a difficult task for most packaging manufacturers.
Humidity levels can also impact degradation, with moisture typically the most common problem. Even a minuscule amount can create numerous issues further down the line, causing a sticky effect between the gummies. Conversely excessive dryness can create cracking at the surface of the gummies and modify plasticity.

There is also the risk of physical damage during transportation. This can be due to faulty packaging or poor handling. Finding ways to prevent both can be a challenge and logistic skills as well as up-to-date engineering are required for the task.

Finding the best solutions

As well as being widely prescribed to toddlers, gummies are becoming an increasingly popular choice for adults. Still, these infused sweets have a susceptibility to oxidation, and gummy packaging should address these concerns. We offer a selection of solutions, all of which guarantee durability, are lightweight yet sturdy, and have impressive protective properties. Our methods are paired with the most up-to-date technology and are able to offer the perfect balance between superior quality and value.

From desiccant packets to the OXYNOV® barrier bottle

Colorcon remains committed to the effort of addressing different issues and meeting every challenge. We aim to protect the product throughout its lifecycle and make sure it reaches the end-user in perfect condition, with its potency undiminished. For gummies, we have selected four different options that have proven to perform this task even in the most difficult circumstances.

PharmaKeep® canisters utilize an innovative and unique line of polymer-based oxygen absorbers, always keeping the environment humidity neutral. Their main advantage is the fact that they require no moisture to react and, instead, prevent oxygen degradation under all conditions. They are available as canisters, packets, and bags – and work best when paired with our OXYNOV. Both can benefit from high-speed insertion, making sure that a very high volume of products can be delivered to the client.

OXYNOV barrier bottles belong to the class of multi-layer extrusion blow molded pharmaceutical containers. The latest innovation in the world of pharmaceutical packaging, these barrier bottles are engineered with six protective layers – one of which includes ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH). The specialised layers block oxygen ingress and offer UV barriers to shield from harmful effects of sun exposure.

EQIUS Equilibrium RH Stabilizers are sorbent products ideally suited for edible medicine. They act as both a humectant and a desiccant, creating a protective environment for particularly sensitive drug forms. Such capsules can offer different equilibrium levels – from 10% to 60% RH.

Desiccant packets are small sachets that help with moisture absorption. They can be customized and adapted in many ways – shape, size, branding, as well as active ingredients. They can contain SILICAGEL, MOLSIEVE, CARBON, or a mix (2-in-1 Pak®), – all of which combat moisture but are also able to minimize the influence of oxygen and remove unwanted odor. Packets are available pre-cut or as reel-wound CONTINU-STRIP. This form of automation speeds up the insertion process and considerably cuts down delivery times, providing a cost-effective solution.