Enteric coating is a type of protective coating that is applied to oral tablets and capsules to protect the contents from being dissolved in the stomach acid. The coating is designed to prevent the active ingredient from being released until it passes through the stomach and reaches the small intestine.
This type of coating is often used for medications and dietary supplements that are sensitive to the acidic environment of the stomach. These include medications that are destroyed by acid, have a strong taste or odor, or can cause irritation in the stomach.
Enteric coatings are usually made from polymers such as cellulose acetate phthalate or polyvinyl acetate phthalate, which are resistant to acid and can withstand the acidic environment of the stomach. These coatings are typically applied to tablets or capsules using a process known as film coating.
The coating is intended to dissolve or breakdown in the higher pH environment of the small intestine, allowing the medication or supplement to be absorbed into the bloodstream for distribution throughout the body.
Enteric-coated tablets or capsules should be swallowed whole, and should not be crushed or chewed, as this can break down the coating and release the active ingredient in the stomach.
Overall, enteric coating is a valuable tool for medication and supplement manufacturers, as it helps to protect the active ingredients from the harsh environment of the stomach and improve their effectiveness.