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Study of thermal behaviour of sugar alcohols

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Mannitol and sorbitol are widely used in the pharmaceutical and food industry. There are some technological procedures such as spray-drying, freeze-drying, tablet compression, during which there is a possibility of heat effect. The purpose of this work was to study the thermal properties of sorbitol, mannitol and their mixtures. Furthermore, these materials and their tablet pressing were studied after melting and solidification. The results of the study prove that the use of sorbitol or mannitol alone is disadvantageous in melt technology. The use of mannitol is limited because of its high melting point (165°C) and the polymorph transition after melting. Sorbitol (melting point: 96.8°C) vitrifies from melt, therefore it is hard to handle during further processing. The melting point of the eutectic mixture (1.8% mannitol and 98.2% sorbitol) was 93.6°C. This mixture was unsuited for pressing because of its glassy property. Our results showed that the most favourable composition was the mixture of 30% mannitol and 70% sorbitol (melting point: 131.8°C) for tablet formulation. This mixture can be recommended for the formulation of such lozenge and hard candy tablets, where the active ingredient decomposes at higher temperature (>131.8°C).

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Gombás, Á., Szabó-Révész, P., Regdon, G. et al. Study of thermal behaviour of sugar alcohols. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry 73, 615–621 (2003).

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