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.


Probiotics are live yeasts and bacteria – microorganisms that aim to restore the human gut flora and improve overall health. Administration of probiotics can vary widely – from liquids to powders to capsules. Due to their sensitive nature, probiotics need quality packaging in order to prevent external factors from interfering with their properties. We offer a selection of options – from PharmaKeep® oxygen absorbers and OXYNOV® barrier bottles to plastic tubes and desiccant stoppers, canisters and packets. Our manufacturing facility allows for a seamless production process – with quality control being maintained throughout.

The benefits and challenges of the probiotics production process

Today, pharmacies and health food stores sell probiotics in the form of food products or dietary supplements. Created through the process of fermentation, they are available as yogurts, beverages, powders, and capsules. Their effects are gentle but, through repeated use, probiotics can have a distinctly beneficial effect on combating health issues from eczema and diarrhea. Probiotics are becoming increasingly popular and are one of the fastest growing segments of the nutraceutical industry.

The way probiotics work is not yet fully understood and there is still a good deal of debate over how potent their influence is. The basic idea is that the human body naturally hosts two kinds of bacteria in its gut – one is deemed beneficial while others may be harmful. If the balance between the two is thrown and the number of harmful organisms exceeds the number of beneficial ones, a host of illnesses can occur. The immune system suffers, and the body is unable to function as well as it should.

Probiotics are known to positively affect the host organism by improving the intestinal balance. Stimulating microbial growth, they allow beneficial microorganisms naturally occurring in the gut to thrive. Probiotics also work on taking care of harmful bacteria and flushing them out of the body so that the balance is regained – and kept. There are several types available, namely Lactobacillus (found in common yogurt), Bifidobacterium (mostly in cheese) which helps with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Saccharomyces boulardii, a type of yeast that is able to help with constipation and general gastrointestinal discomfort. There is also evidence that they may improve overall immune health, thus preventing minor ailments such as the common cold.

The study of probiotics stretches back to 1907 when the Russian scientist Élie Metchnikoff proposed that yogurt and other kinds of fermented dairy products have the ability to replace harmful gut microbes with more beneficial flora. This idea was further expanded upon by the German Alfred Nissle. Probiotics are safe to consume and side-effects are extremely rare, mostly occurring due to bacteria-host interactions.

The greatest risk brought about by the production process lies at the very end. Inadequate packaging can create more issues than perhaps any other segment. Moisture and oxygen seeping into containers can trigger unwanted chemical reactions. Oxidative degradation can occur quickly, rendering the product useless – if not harmful – in a matter of hours. It involves the disintegration of macromolecules brought about by the action of oxygen on the substrate. The appearance of unwanted odors is also quite common.

From Pharmakeep® oxyen absorber to desiccant packets

Probiotics, created through a fermentation process, often have a short shelf life. The role of packaging is to prolong it and prevent any unwanted changes to the product. Moisture, oxygen, and unpleasant odors all present issues for the product and the customer. Understanding the needs of each probiotic is key to developing a robust packaging system to ensure effective treatments for end users. All of our solutions meet industry standards and are designed to exceed your quality standards.

PharmaKeep® oxygen absorber contains polymer-based active material. The latest in oxygen control, they don’t require any sort of moisture in order to react and perform their role. Known as “oxygen scavengers”, the active materials protect solid products in primary packagings and liquids products in secondary packagings, avoidiing full degradation.

Plastic tubes & desiccant stoppers are an excellent combo that performs proper control of MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate) by applying a strict stage-gate process. Hinge closure provides consumer appeal, ergonomics, and prolonged protection. ADP® technology prevents dust from entering the container. Stoppers can also be filled with EQIUS® equilibrium stabilizers, regardless of whether they are being produced in Europe, Asia, or the United States. In addition, they are fully compliant with all US FDA and EU regulations.

Desiccant canisters are drop-in style sorbent components reliant on high-speed insertion. They can be hopper-fed and are able to meet specific stability requirements. Odor absorption properties are provided by active carbon while laser-marking artwork enables the creation of custom-marked canisters. Able to comply with US Pharmacopeia USP <670> standard, they remain cost-efficient.

Desiccant packets carry superior protective properties, help maintain stability, and are able to keep away moisture and ensure the expiration date is adhered to. COMPATILUS® Program ensures full compatibility with various automatic desiccant inserters from key equipment manufacturers. Packets are available in a range of sizes – standard or customized – and also benefit from odor absorption properties.