Tablets are coated with sugar or film for a variety of reasons.

When buying any tablet, such as vitamins, over-the-counter cold medicine and prescription drugs, you will notice that each tablet has a smooth texture. This is because tablets are coated with sugar or a polymer-based film. Tablets are coated for a variety of reasons, such as making the tablet easy to swallow, covering a foul taste or odor, and stabilizing the ingredients.

There are some difference between sugar and film coating :

Film CoatingSugar Coating

  • Retains contour of original
  • Usually not shiny
  • Rounded with high degree of polish
  • High colored
Weight increase due to coating materials2-3% (it is a thin coat)50-100% (very high coat)
Logo or breaklinePossible during tablet compression by tablet punchesBreak-line are not possible; logo is only achieved by printing

StagesUsually single stageMultiple stages
Equipmentrequires one piece of equipment uses several different pieces of equipment, and is difficult to complete on a small scale
Typically batch coating time1.5-2 hours More than 8 hours, could be days
Functional CoatingEasily adaptable for modified releaseMostly for immediate release tables, unless specials treatment during the sealing stage