A.F. Suter and Co. Ltd

Shellac, Waxes, Gums and Resins

Shellac – Aqueous Solution – SWANLAC ASL 10

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Aqueous Shellac Solution – SWANLAC® ASL 10

Vegetarian Society Approved for vegetarian diets. Kosher certification available. REACH exemption statement available.

Composition:             Shellac Ammonium Salt      Demineralised Water 

CAS Number:                         68308-35-0                      7732-18-5

EINECS Number:                    269-647-6                       231-791-2

INCI Name:                    Ammonium Shellacate

SWANLAC® ASL 10 is a food grade Aqueous Shellac Solution formulated using natural ingredients and is suitable for a wide range of coating applications. It is based on Shellac, a unique and versatile natural resin, combined with a volatile alkali to make it soluble in water, thus forming a clear, slightly amber and very stable solution with a solid content of 25%. It is a true solution with a low viscosity and can be used as supplied or diluted with demineralised water.


Lac, the resinous secretion of the tiny Indian insect Kerria lacca serves as a protection against tropical rains and is therefore not water soluble. This is due to the many Carboxyl groups in its chemical composition, resulting in an acid polymer which is insoluble in water. However, by the addition of a suitable base and an alkaline pH, a water-soluble Shellac Salt is formed from which stable Aqueous Shellac Solutions can be prepared. The type of base (solid or volatile alkali or amine) and the addition level are important factors for the properties of the Shellac solution and characteristics of the dried Shellac film. The type of Shellac used will also influence the performance of the coating.

SWANLAC® ASL 10 is manufactured using high-quality, food grade Dewaxed and Decolourised Shellac (E 904) refined in a solvent extraction and physical bleaching process plus a volatile ammonia compound to achieve the solubility in water. It is thus a Shellac Ammonium Salt (INCI name: Ammonium Shellacate) in demineralised water.


SWANLAC® ASL 10 has excellent film-forming properties and will provide very stable coatings with very low water vapour permeability and good UV-resistance, as well as elegant, very smooth and high gloss surfaces.

SWANLAC® ASL 10 is highly compatible with other natural or synthetic resins and polymers. It can be used as formulated or in combination with HPMC, HPC, Na-CMC, PVP, Alginates, etc, or plasticisers can be used to modify the film properties. Colouring agents or pigments can also be added.

SWANLAC® ASL 10 does not contain preservatives. The shelf-life in the unopened can is 12-months. Stability problems, often associated with Shellac coatings from alcoholic solutions, have not been reported. The release characteristics of coated tablets will not change, even after extended storage times.

  • Only natural ingredients, with no preservatives.
  • No Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level. Food addition level: quantum satis.
  • High compatibility with other resins or polymers, plasticisers, colouring agents, fillers, etc.
  • True solution. Film-forming by evaporation (physical drying).
  • Low viscosity, can be used as supplied or diluted with demineralised water.
  • Excellent film-former with low drying temperatures.
  • Good adhesion to many surfaces.
  • High gloss with very smooth, elegant surfaces.
  • Low water vapour and oxygen permeability
  • UV resistant.
  • Masks unpleasant tastes and odours.
  • Enteric properties.
  • Very stable release characteristics. No changes even after extended storage times.



SWANLAC® ASL 10 is primarily used as a pharmaceutical excipient for coating nutritional supplements (nutraceuticals) in the form of tablets, soft gels and hard capsules. Typical applications include barrier coating, taste-masking, enteric coating or colon delivery. It is also suitable for cosmeceuticals and the coating of stents and catheter balloons. In addition, it can serve as a binder in food grade printing inks, inkjet and 3D printing, or as a barrier coating on plastic films, paper and packaging.

Nutritional Supplements

SWANLAC® ASL 10 can be used as supplied or formulated with other natural polymers to meet the different requirements of the various applications of nutraceutical coatings. Nutritional Supplements are coated with SWANLAC® ASL 10 as a protection against moisture, light and oxygen; to mask bitter tastes or unpleasant odours; or to deliver active ingredients to targeted areas of the body thanks to its superior protection against gastric acids. Standard formulations for the different applications are available on request.

Tablet Elegance is achieved due to very smooth, high gloss films with a natural appearance. The ability to swallow even large tablets is improved. Embossed patterns or logos will not be filled.

As a Barrier Coating, sensitive ingredients are protected due to the UV light resistance and very low water vapour and oxygen permeability of the Shellac films. The coating is suitable for vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, garlic, branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and cosmeceuticals.

Taste & Odour Masking. In a formulation with HPMC, HPC or other water-soluble polymers, the masking of unpleasant tastes or odours can be achieved with a low weight gain. The coating time can therefore be reduced considerably.

Sustained Release. Used in combination with other natural polymers, an extended release over time can be achieved (e.g. Vitamin C and Caffeine).

Enteric Coating. Shellac is an enteric polymer, which can be used for the delivery of fish oils and garlic oils. The dissolution of the film will start at a pH >7.1. To achieve a dissolution at a pH of 6, the formulation with a water-soluble polymer as a pore-former is recommended. HPMC or HPC are suitable polymers.

Colon Delivery. Due to the high dissolution pH, a targeted delivery of active ingredients (e.g. prebiotics and probiotics) to the small and large intestine can be achieved.


SWANLAC® ASL 10 can be used to coat soft-gels, hard capsules and tablets in perforated coating pans or fluid bed coaters. Coating and drying conditions depend on the equipment used

Microencapsulation of nutraceuticals (e.g. probiotics) in the form of solid multi-particles (e.g. pellets, granules and powders) can be achieved by spray-coating in a fluid bed coater, spray-drying and spin-coating. Liquids (e.g. Omega 3 oils) can be microencapsulated by the coextrusion process.

  • Easy coating in perforated pans or fluid bed coaters.
  • No blocking of nozzles or spray-guns.
  • Not tacky, the addition of Talcum or Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is not required.
  • Short coating and drying times at low temperatures.
  • Curing is not required.
  • Easy cleaning process.