By Vinnie Hebert
Nutraceutical powders are like pharmaceutical powders in many aspects. There is an active ingredient (or ingredients) with a host of excipients. This creates a complex mixture of materials which can cause flow problems during a production run. Costly downtime occurs due to flow stoppages and lost time related to the effort involved in identifying the cause and solving the problem.
To ensure production uptime and reduce downtime, a quality control check needs to be made on the material during the production run. This QC test needs to focus on flow behavior of the powder. It also needs to be accurate and timely. The data from the QC check should be compared to flow data from an initial characterization of the material. Pass/Fail criteria are based on how close the flow performance is to the original material. These are the steps that must be taken to keep production up and running.