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16 Nov 2021

A-TAB® MD Shines in New Compressibility Study

Author:  Vinit Nigudkar, Global Technical Services & Application Development, Innophos

Direct compression is the most popular method for tableting in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries because it’s fast, simple, and effective.

The manufacturing process consists of blending an active ingredient with multiple excipients (e.g., diluent, binder, disintegrant, glidant and the lubricant), followed directly by compressing the blend into a tablet without any additional steps.1,2,3 The use of multiple excipients in a single formulation can make it difficult to manufacture uniform and cohesive tablets due to their different inherent physical properties.. 4,5 Furthermore, the functionality of many excipients (e.g., powder flowability, binding capacity, compressibility, and friction tendency) can create challenges in the tableting process.

Co-processed multifunctional excipients (CPMEs) have helped dietary supplement and pharmaceutical manufacturers to overcome many of the challenges that come from formulating while using conventional excipients. Innophos CPMEs allow manufacturers to replace the traditional diluent, binder, and flow agent with a single ingredient that also provides an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus. CPMEs have many benefits including: increasing manufacturing efficiency, simplifying formulations, improving tablet integrity, and reducing overall weight and tablet size. 

In a recent white paper, “Co-Processed Multifunctional Excipients in Tableting,” Innophos confirmed that A-TAB® MD will reduce tablet ingredients by 50%, increase tablet hardness by 50%, reduce processing time by 50%, and reduce overall weight and tablet size by over 30% when compared to the same tablet made with conventional excipients.

To further demonstrate the value of A-TAB® MD in different formulations, Innophos carried out additional studies with the following results:

  • A-TAB® MD compressibility proved superior to a simple blend of the component ingredients (not co-processed)
  • A-TAB® MD outperformed conventional excipients in multivitamin tablets
  • A-TAB® MD outperformed conventional excipients in immune booster tablets 
  • A-TAB® MD tablets proved superior to competitor lactose-based CPMEs even when poorly compressible ascorbic acid was used as the active ingredient without a binder

The science clearly shows that A-TAB® MD outperforms traditional and competitor excipients in multiple applications using different formulations. Innophos has consistently demonstrated enhanced compressibility, better friability, and improved integrity because of simplified formulations. In addition to increasing manufacturing efficiency, A-TAB® MD allows for a cleaner label and smaller tablet size, addressing consumer needs. These numerous advantages provide significant value to manufacturers—leading to faster speed to market.


1. Benabbas R. et al (2021). Performance Evaluation of a Novel Biosourced Co-Processed Excipient in Direct Compression and Drug Release. Polymers, 13, 988.

2. Augsburger, L.L. and Hoag, S.W. (2008). Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms. Tablets, 3rd ed.; Informa Healthcare: New York, NY, USA

3. Chowdary K.P.R. & Ramya K. (2013). Recent research on co-processed excipients for direct compression-A Review. Pharmacie Globale (IJCP), Vol. 4, Issue 2.

4. Bhor N.J. et al. (2014). Multifunctional Excipients: The Smart Excipients. International Journal of Pure & Applied Biosciences. 2, 144–148

5. Koo, O.M.Y. (2016). Pharmaceutical Excipients: Properties, Functionality and Applications in Research and Industry, 1st ed.; John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ, USA

Mentioned Companies
Innophos Inc.
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