Vg Capsules

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Vegetarian capsules, which are also called VG capsules, are the main alternative to gel caps. The gelatin in many gel caps is made from animal collagen, and bovine collagen in particular. As bovine collagen is a relatively common allergen, many non-vegetarians also use VG capsules.

One of the largest markets for VG capsules is the health food market. Many dietary supplement suppliers and vitamin manufacturers use vegetarian capsules to make their products equally available to all consumers. Vegetarian capsules, which are made from agar, are also available as empty capsules for people who are interested in producing their own vitamins and capsule supplements.

Agar, the Main Ingredient in VG Capsules

Agar is a product of East Asian seaweed or red algae. Though it doesn't contain the animal products that gelatin does, it also doesn't the amino acids and collagen that gelatin has. It is a translucent, nearly tasteless, odorless substance that is gelatinous when cool and liquid when warmed.

Though agar doesn't have the nutritional content that gelatin has (mainly important for joint-building collagen), it has been used as in food for much longer. Easily harvested, it is used in Japanese desserts, jellies, and other dishes throughout East Asia. The use of agar in pharmaceutical manufacturing and the science industry (in VG caps and in microbiological Petri dishes) is a recent development in the history of this versatile food.

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