Pharma desiccants: how to use and what they do?

Pharma desiccants: how to use and what they do?

Pharma desiccants are majorly used in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. The desiccants play a crucial role in the packaging of pharma products. They effectively absorb the extra moisture inside the closed containers and keep the products dry. 

The desiccants come packed in small white packets inside the containers. They absorb moisture, maintain the product's quality, and extend its shelf life. The packets always have strict instructions: "Do not eat." Consumers should always follow this for their safety. 

Desiccants are commonly found in products, from shoeboxes to medicine bottles. These small packets are filled with a wide range of substances like silica gel, activated carbon, molecular sieves, and clay. Within these, silica gel desiccants are most commonly used and preferred by the pharma industries. 

What do they do?

In the pharma industry, desiccants are used for dental, diagnostic, herbal, nutritional, and even veterinary packaging. While packaging, the desiccants are inserted into the containers. This ensures that moisture doesn't impact the products.

The desiccants are commonly used to keep the products dry and stable. They absorb moisture from the air and even reduce the humidity on the surface of the sealed containers. It is very important to control moisture from pharmaceutical products because moisture can spoil the medicines, but also, in many cases, it can bring irreversible physical and chemical changes. Thus, because of the same reason, many pharmaceutical industries have started using pharma desiccants to get prevention from moisture and humidity. These are usually inserted in the form of canisters into the packaging lines to ensure that the medicines and other pharma products are not affected by moisture, mildew, and mould. 

How are the pharma desiccants used?

By maintaining the dryness and the quality of the products, the desiccants extend the shelf life and efficacy of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products by preventing moisture damage. 

Desiccants work on the principle of adsorbing moisture from the air. It is known to be an agent that works on the mechanism of multiple adsorption layers, attracting the thin layers of moisture molecules from the air to the desiccant surfaces. It avoids chemical reactions with water and other dissolving chemicals. Many manufacturers use desiccants to prevent chemical hydrates from forming in the chemical industry. The desiccants also remove the moisture from the gas streams and solvents. 

These highly effective desiccants are most commonly used for products that can be damaged due to moisture. If moisture is trapped for a long time, it can cause the degradation of materials like electronics, food, clothing, and medicines. For this reason, desiccants are used during the packaging and storage of products. 

The desiccants packs contain small interconnected channels that open into pores on the surface that can absorb moisture from the product without altering their structure. The higher the moisture content, the higher the adsorption capacity. 

Utility of desiccant products:

  • Transportation of goods: The desiccants are very important for the packaging process while shipping products. These work like drying agents. 
  • Activated carbon desiccants: Carbon is always appreciated for extracting impurities from the air and leaves the atmosphere clean and hygienic. It also eliminates the foul smell from the enclosed areas. E.g., garages, basements, etc. 
  • Natural desiccants: The most commonly used natural desiccant is rice, used in commercial areas and to protect domestic goods. 
  • Preserve chemicals: desiccants are effectively used for storing the chemicals. The desiccants absorb the moisture and keep them dry. Few chemicals can form compounds when they come in contact with moisture. 

Few important factors to keep in mind before selecting a desiccant:

  • Type of container or package for the pharma products
  • The volume of the containers
  • The rate of absorption required
  • The climate
  • Cost-effectiveness of the desiccants
  • RH levels


Sorbead India is well known for manufacturing and supplying high-quality and the best pharma desiccants. Pharma desiccants like pillow pak, unit pak, consider, tablets, Humidity Indicating cards, Montmorillonite clay, and Activated Carbon Desiccant. Various desiccants are available, including silica gel, activated carbon, and molecular sieves. 

We supply desiccant pillow pak of 'Desiccare Inc.' used in different industries. The pillow paks are generally filled with molecular sieve beads, silica gel clay, and activated carbon desiccants. USFDA standards approve all the materials used for manufacturing the paks. We also offer pillow paks in bulk quantity packaged in 1-gallon can or 10-gallon container. 

Our high-quality unit paks are exported worldwide to offer the best adsorption solution to various packaging products used in different industries. The FDA standards approve the unit paks, and they also prolong the life of the products. 

We also offer a complete line of pharma-grade desiccant canisters manufactured by SLACK. These are used for absorbing moisture, odour, and gas from packed products. We manufacture other desiccants like the desiccant tablets. These tablets control the moisture and humidity inside the packed pharmaceutical tablets and capsules. They work effectively in removing moisture from the surface of the containers and bottles while packaging.