Why is Taste Masking Required?

The oral route is considered the most convenient and easy route of drug delivery as it does not involve pain. But it is seen generally that patients try to avoid any medicine that is bitter in taste. A survey of American Association of Pediatricians reports unpleasant taste as the biggest barrier in the treatment of pediatric population. This patient noncompliance, termed “intelligent noncompliance,” due to feeling better, bad taste among others is reasoned out by the patient but may not necessarily be wise, is one of the key causes of failure of oral dosage regimen.

Need for Taste Masking

This bitter taste perception is supposed to have evolved as a mechanism that averts possible toxins ingestion. Since, it is an evolutionary advantage, it struck with the homo sapiens.  But the disadvantage with this trait in human beings is that compounds such as flavanoids and isoflavones that exhibit bitter taste also have beneficial response.  Approaches such as phylogenetic-like tree construction, quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance, and ligand identification have been used to recognize the bitter loci in molecules. However, structural modification of these loci can alter their pharmacological response. Thus, the most suitable alternative is to mask the taste of these bitter loci.

Hence, taste masking techniques are applied to mask or overcome the bitter or unpleasant taste of active pharmaceutical ingredients/drugs. This achieves patient acceptability and compliance. Unless the active ingredient is tasteless or does not have any unpleasant taste, taste-masking plays a key role in the success of a final solid oral dosage form. The efficiency of taste-masking is often a key determinant for the success of specialized dosage forms like orally disintegrating tablets and films, and chewable tablets. Moreover, high palatability gives a competitive advantage, especially in the case of over-the-counter products.

The commonly used industrial techniques/methods of taste-masking include organoleptic methods, polymer coating, hot-melt extrusion, microencapsulation, complexation, and spray-drying.

How Can GVK BIO Help in Taste Masking?

Taste-masking techniques often go hand in hand with the formulation technology. In short, they need to be mutually compatible. GVK BIO’s formulation and analytical team helps the clients on how taste is perceived, techniques are available for taste masking, selection of appropriate taste masking technique, and evaluation tests for the same.

Our Taste Masking team has years of experience developing taste masking formulations across different forms (solids and liquid solutions). We have our in-house proprietary methods to improve taste, texture, aroma and mouth feel of bitter and granular NCEs, APIs and nutraceuticals which helps in increasing the overall oral delivery acceptability of the final formulation.


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