Taste-Masking: A Unique Solution to Improve Patient Compliance

In the pharmaceutical world, patient compliance is essential. At Adare Pharma Solutions, we know that it’s vital that a pharmaceuticals company does everything in its power to ensure that patients take their medications consistently.

Many factors can negatively impact patient compliance, but one of the biggest (and yet most often overlooked) is the taste of the medication. Taste plays an especially important role in pediatric medications, as anyone who has tried to give a child a bitter medicine can attest. However, it can affect adult compliance as well; no matter how old you are, if you have poor-tasting medicine, you’re more likely not to take every dosage.

Taste-masking is the process where the bitter taste of a drug’s ingredients is neutralized.

Adare Pharma Solutions is one of the leading pioneers of taste-masking technology. If pharmaceuticals manufacturing is an area your company is struggling with, we want to support you. Get in touch with us now to tell us about your project and learn how we can help.

For now, we’d like to introduce the different strategies a formulator can pursue when taste-masking a drug product.


In this approach, a combination of sweeteners and flavors are added to mask the bitter or unpleasant taste of the drug (active pharmaceutical ingredient).

Polymer Coating

In some situations, a coating is applied to the dosage form that acts as a barrier in the mouth to the bitter ingredients of the product. The coating does not dissolve in the mouth, protecting the taste buds, but it does dissolve in the stomach, where it releases its medication.

Hot-Melt Extrusion

For hot-melt extrusion, or HME, the bitter ingredient is mixed in a dry form with other ingredients that neutralize its taste. That mixture is then melted and extruded, resulting in taste-masked granules of the drug. This is then formulated into the most appropriate dosage form, including tablets, suspensions, and powders.


Spray-drying provides an alternate approach to taste-masking by applying a physical barrier coating. The bitter drug is either dissolved or dispersed along with the polymer in a suitable solvent, followed by spray-drying. This process usually consists of three steps:

  1. Atomization of feed into a spray
  2. Spray-air contact (mixing and flow) followed by drying
  3. Separation of dried product from the air

This process provides the option of using aqueous and non-aqueous solvents. The dried product often includes granules or beads containing taste-masked encapsulated drugs.


Cyclodextrins, a type of cyclic oligosaccharide, can be used for taste-masking via a process known as “complexation.” When this process is used, the cyclodextrins form a shell around the bitter ingredients and stop them from activating a patient’s taste buds.

Melt Spray Congeal

This is a patented capability within the pharmaceutical industry that utilizes Adare’s Optimµm® technology to produce uniform microspheres and microcapsules.

  • Uses inexpensive excipients (waxes, lipids, stearates, PEGs)
  • Hydrophobic excipients used commonly solubilize BCS II and IV APIs
  • Narrow and small PSD allows for use as an intermediate or final-form factor
    This technology was developed and manufactured through Adare’s Precision Particle Fabrication™ technology, which produces uniform microspheres and microcapsules.


Microencapsulation uses coacervation to provide a uniform coating of a rigid semi-permeable polymer to a solid small particle or liquid droplet. This creates a physical barrier that allows for effective taste-masking, customized release profiles, and the combination of incompatible APIs.

Microencapsulation also provides the flexibility of turning non-aqueous liquids into powders that can be used across a wide variety of applications.

The final microencapsulated dosage form can then be used in powders, dry syrups, and orally disintegrating tablets, as well as formulations that provide a soft food-like texture, such as Adare’s Parvulet® dosage form.

Microcaps®, from Adare Pharma Solutions, is one of the most recognized microencapsulation technologies in the industry. We are widely recognized as the leader in organic-phase coacervation for pharmaceutical products.

Let Adare Pharma Solutions Handle Your Taste Masking

Which taste-masking strategy is right for your next project? Turn to the taste-masking experts at Adare Pharma Solutions.

We’ll put our decades of experience to work for you to find the best way to increase patient compliance regarding your drug. Drug manufacturing is everything; it can be the difference between patients who confidently take their medications and those who reject them due simply to their taste.

Let us handle your project the right way and produce results that please everyone.

Contact us today to tell us about your project.