Medicine | Pharmacy | Chemistry


Formulation as a stage in downstream processing and what it entails

Posted September 22, 2016 by Matt in Uncategorized

Formulation refers to the maintenance of stability and activity of a biotechnological product during

distribution and storage. It is a stage in downstream processing. Formulation of low molecular

weight products can be achieved by removing of most water. Formulation can be done by

crystallization for small molecules by adding salt.

Proteins formulation requires special care as they are highly susceptible for loss of biological activity.

In order to prolong the shelf life of proteins, certain stabilizing additives are added. These stabilizers

include sugars, salts, polymers and polyhydric alcohols.

Below are essential components of product formulation in downstream processing

 Drying

 Spray drying

 Freeze drying

Drying is an essential component when it comes to product formulation in downstream processing.

It involves the transfer of het to a wet product in order to remove moisture. Most of biological

products of fermentation are very sensitive to heat and they therefore require gentle drying methods.

Drying devices may be categorised as; convention, radiation dryers and contact dryers, etc.

The Spray drying is mainly implemented for ventilation of huge liquid volumes in downstream

processing. In this type of drying, small droplets of liquid containing the product are passed through a

nozzle which directs it over a stream of hot gas. The hard elements are left behind as the water


Freeze drying is most favoured technique for formulating a wide range of products and drying in

downstream processing. It is used in formulating products like foodstuffs, diagnostics, bacteria,

viruses and pharmaceuticals. Freeze drying does not cause loss of biological activity of the desired

product and this is the main reason why it is preferred.

Freeze drying is based on the principle of sublimation of liquid from a frozen state. The liquid that

contains the product is frozen and dried in a freeze dryer under a vacuum. As the vacuum is released,

the product containing vials is sealed.

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