Sucrose|Compressible Sugar|Pharmaceutical Products

Sugar is a broader term used for carbohydrates and is classified into simple sugars and compound sugars. Simple sugars are monosaccharides consisting of single units e.g. fructose and glucose. Dextrose is also a simple sugar. Compound sugars consist of two monosaccharides for example sucrose is a disaccharide that consists of glucose and fructose.

Sugars are widely used in pharmaceutical industries in wet granulation, dry granulation, tablet coating, and liquid syrup formulations.

Some commonly used sugars in pharmaceutical industries  are as follows

  1. Sucrose
  2. Compressible Sugar
  3. Confectioner`s Sugar
  4. Sugar Sphere
  5. Dextrose
  1. Sucrose

Sucrose is a compound sugar and is disaccharide consisting of glucose and fructose.

It is also known as

    •   Cane sugar
    •    Beat sugar
    •    Refined sugar

It is soluble in water.

It appears as crystals, blocks or crystalline powder.

Role of Sucrose in Pharmaceutical Products

Sucrose  is used as

  • Diluent for tablets and capsules.
  • Binder for tablet and capsules.
  • Dry binder for tablet and capsule.
  • Coating agent.
  • Sweetening agent
  • Sucrose in Liquid Syrups

Sucrose As Diluent

Sucrose is used as a diluent for tablets and capsules.

Also Read: 

Role of diluents in tablet granulation.

Sucrose As Binder

  • Sucrose syrup is used as a binder in tablet manufacturing during wet granulation.
  • Thick sucrose syrup 50-67% is used as a binder for wet granulation.

Sucrose As Dry binder

  • In dry form, sucrose is used as a dry binder for tablet manufacturing.
  • The concentration used is 2-20%.

Sucrose As Coating Agent

  • Thick sucrose syrup 50-67% is used as a coating agent for tablet coating and the process is known as sugar coating.
  • It is used to mask the taste of bitter API by applying a layer of sugar coat over the tablets.

Sweetening agent.

Sucrose is used as a sweetening agent in different pharmaceutical products.

Liquid Syrup

  • 67%  sucrose solution is used as a vehicle in liquid preparations.
  • Dilute solution of sucrose may promote microbial growth but concentrated solution acts as a preservative to inhibit microbial growth.

Also Read: 

Classification of Excipients.

2.0 Compressible Sugar.

Compressible sugar is also known as

  • Di Pac
  • Direct compacting sucrose.

Role Of Compressible Sugar.

It is used as 

  • Tablet and capsule diluent 20-60%.
  • Sweetening agent 10-50%
  • It is used for direct compression of chewable tablets.
  • It has a good flow and is used in the manufacturing of the sachet to improve flow during filling.
  • It is soluble in water.
  • Compressible sugar should contain 95-98% of sucrose and the remaining portion contains starch or any lubricant.  (USP32-NF 27).


It is Incompatible with dilute acids which may cause inversion.

3.0 Confectioner`s Sugar

  • It is also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar.
  • Confectioner`s sugar is a mixture of corn starch and sucrose.Sucrose  is 95%.

Role Of Confectioner’s Sugar

It is used as

  • Coating agent.
  • Tablet and capsule diluent.
  • Sweetening agent.

It is used to improve content uniformity due to small particle size..

It is used as a coating solution and diluent.

4.0 Sugar Sphere

  • Sugar sphere is used as an inert base on which coating of the drug is applied.
  • It is usually used for delayed-release formulations.
  • It contains 92% sucrose and remaining is corn starch or colourants.

5.0 Dextrose

  • It is also known as blood sugar, starch sugar or grape sugar.
  • It is soluble in water

Role Of Dextrose

It is used as 

  • It is used as Tablet and Capsule diluent
  • It is used as Tonicity agent.
  • It is used as a therapeutic agent.
  • Sweetening agent
  • It is used as a tablet and capsule binder.
  • It is used as a dry binder in a tablet and capsule formulations.
  • Dextrose is used in the compression of chewable tablets.
  • Dextrose is also used for manufacturing of lozenges.

Formulations containing dextrose require more lubricants.

Popular Posts:

  1. GMP vs cGMP and 21 CFR.
  2. Different Grades of Microcrystalline Cellulose or Avicel .
  3. Role of Lactose in tablet manufacturing.
  4. Role of Dibasic calcium phosphate in tablet manufacturing.