How many ml does a 00 capsule hold?

Capsule sizes are important when determining dosage amounts for medications or supplements. The ’00’ capsule size is one of the most common capsule sizes used. Knowing how much liquid volume a 00 capsule can hold is helpful for measuring out ingredients when filling capsules. This article will provide a quick answer on the liquid capacity of 00 capsules and then go into more detail on capsule sizes, how to measure capsule capacity, and factors that affect how much a capsule can hold.

Quick Answer

A size 00 capsule holds approximately 0.95ml of liquid. This is the average capacity, though the exact amount can vary slightly based on the capsule shape and density of the ingredients.

Capsule Sizes

Capsules come in a variety of standard sizes, ranging from size 5 (the largest) to size 000 (the smallest). The numbers correspond to the capsule capacity in milliliters. Here are the common capsule sizes and capacities:

Capsule Size Capacity (ml)
000 0.36
00 0.95
0 1.37
1 1.92
2 2.42
3 3.16
4 3.85
5 5.10

As you can see, the 00 capsule size has an approximate capacity of 0.95ml. This makes it a good middle-ground choice – not too small but not overly large either. The 00 size works well for most supplement and prescription medications.

Measuring Capsule Capacity

The stated capsule capacities are averages. The actual amount each individual capsule can hold can vary somewhat based on:

– Capsule shape – More elongated capsules may hold less than rounded capsules of the same designated size.

– Capsule brand – Different manufacturers have slight variations in their molds and production that affect internal volume.

– Tamping – Filling a capsule tightly with a powdered ingredient can allow more to fit than filling loosely.

– Density of ingredients – Light, fluffy ingredients take up more space than heavy, dense ingredients.

To get an exact measurement on how much a particular batch of 00 capsules can hold, you can do a simple test:

1. Take 10 empty capsules and record their combined mass on a precision scale.

2. Fill the 10 capsules with water and re-weigh them. Subtract the empty mass. This is the mass of the water held.

3. Convert the water mass to volume by dividing by the density of water (1 g/ml).

This will give you the average capacity of your specific 00 capsules, which you can then divide by 10 to get the volume per capsule. Remember to factor in that dense ingredients may hold slightly less volume and light ingredients slightly more.

Factors Affecting Capsule Capacity

There are a few key factors that determine how much content a capsule can hold:

Capsule Shape

The shape of the capsule affects its internal volume and ability to be filled. There are two main capsule shapes:

Round/Spherical: These capsules have rounded, dome-shaped ends and a cylindrical middle. They allow fairly even filling but can feel bulkier or harder to swallow than other shapes.

Elongated/Ellipsoidal: These capsules have tapered, oval ends and less distinct sides. They may be easier to swallow but the tapered ends reduce the total capacity slightly compared to rounds.

Most 00 capsule sizes will have either a rounded or elongated shape. The elongation can vary with some being close to spherical and others having more tapered ends. More tapered and elongated shapes will have a lower volume capacity.

Wall Thickness

Capsule walls need to have a certain thickness and durability to contain ingredients without cracking or leaking. However, thicker capsule walls take up space and reduce the inner capacity. Most standard pharmaceutical grade capsules have similar thin yet durable walls, but some types may have slightly thicker walls that reduce the volume inside.

Dense vs. Light Ingredients

How densely packed a capsule’s contents are affects the amount that will fit inside. Dense granular ingredients like minerals and salts can often be tamped down to fit more in a capsule compared to light, fluffy ingredients like herbs and plant powders.

You may be able to fit 500mg of a dense mineral into a 00 capsule that would only hold 250mg of a light, airy plant powder. The capsule capacity remains the same, but density allows more mass of heavy ingredients to occupy that volume.

Hygroscopic Effects

Some ingredients are hygroscopic, meaning they can absorb moisture from the air after the capsules are filled. Ingredients like magnesium oxide or potassium chloride will pull moisture into the capsule over time, taking up more volume. This means capsules with hygroscopic contents may hold less of the ingredient over time compared to when they were freshly filled. Using capsules with lower moisture permeability can help reduce this effect.

Compaction from Storage

Filled capsules that are vibrated or compressed during handling and storage can lead to the ingredients settling and becoming more compacted. This increases the density inside the capsule, allowing more to be fit in. But it also means newly filled capsules may hold less than capsules that have been allowed to settle and compact during storage and transit.

Proper packaging that limits vibration and compaction can help avoid changes in capacity after filling. Capsules should be stored in sealed bottles and shipping methods shouldn’t excessively shake or compress packages.

Typical Uses for 00 Capsules

The 00 capsule size is versatile enough to work for most common purposes:

Prescription medication: 00 capsules are commonly used to administer doses of prescription drugs. The 0.95ml capacity is suitable for many medications, allowing room for proper dosing without being overly large.

Dietary supplements: Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other dietary supplements are conveniently packaged in 00 capsules. The size accommodates most typical supplement doses.

Combination products: Multiple ingredients can be encapsulated together in a 00 capsule. Combos like sleep aids, energy blends, and anti-inflammatory products use 00 capsules to mix several supplements.

Essential oils: Essential oil blends are often filled into 00 capsules. This allows easy ingestion and portability of oils in a solid dosage form. The 00 size accommodates the typical 0.5-1ml doses.

Probiotics: 00 capsules work well for delivering doses of probiotic bacteria. The capacity allows for billions of CFUs along with small amounts of buffering powder.

Precision dosing: For ingredients that require precise amounts, like caffeine or pharmaceuticals, the 00 capsule allows controlled filling in 0.5-1g amounts.

Filling 00 Capsules

If you want to fill 00 capsules yourself, you can use a simple encapsulation process:

Supplies Needed

– Empty 00 capsules
– Capsule filler tray (optional but makes filling easier)
– Ingredients to encapsulate
– Small funnel
– Capsule tamper or pestle (optional)

Filling Process

1. Separate the capsule halves by gently twisting off the top and bottom sections.

2. Scoop or pour your ingredients into the capsule bottoms. Use a funnel to guide finely powdered ingredients.

3. Tap the filled bottom halves on a hard surface to settle the powder, adding more if there is room.

4. Optionally tamp down the powder more firmly using a pestle or tamper. But be gentle to avoid damaging the capsules.

5. Place the cap halves over the filled bottoms, aligning closed.

6. Press gently to snap the halves completely shut. Store filled capsules in sealed bottles away from moisture.

Tips for Filling

– Powder your ingredients to a fine consistency if possible – this allows tighter packing.

– Use a filler tray with holes to hold capsules upright for easier filling.

– Start with an empty capsule on the scale to tare out the weight before adding powder.

– Fill volume, not weight. Dense powders fit more by weight than light, fluffy powders.

– Settle powder with gentle tapping before capping and check fill levels.

– Store filled capsules properly to avoid changes in capacity over time. Keep cool, dry, and protected from vibration/compaction.

Capsule Filling Machines

For large scale encapsulation, manual filling can be tedious and time-consuming. Capsule filling machines automate the process for faster filling.

There are two main types of machines:

Tamping Fillers: These use vibration and tamping pins to compact powder into the capsules for denser fills. Tamping helps control density.

Dosator Style: These accurately meter precise amounts of powder into each capsule, though less tamping occurs. Works well for uniform dosing.

Capsule fillers can fill thousands of capsules per hour, far more than manual methods. This makes them ideal for supplement and pharmaceutical companies producing large batches.

Ensuring Proper Dosing

Consistency and accuracy of dosing is important when encapsulating medicinal ingredients or drugs. There are a few methods to ensure proper amounts:

– Test fill sample capsules and disassemble to check powder mass. Adjust filler amounts accordingly.

-For powders, use a dosator filler that meters precise amounts into each capsule.

-For oils, use a repeating syringe to measure equal volumes for each capsule.

-Compare the weight of filled capsules to empty ones to gauge quantity and consistency.

-Periodically test samples from a production run to ensure accuracy is maintained.

Following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and having Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for encapsulation helps maintain quality control.

Capsule Size Considerations

While 00 capsules work for most situations, here are times when other sizes may be more appropriate:

Larger doses: For doses exceeding 1g, larger capsule sizes like 0 or 1 may be needed. This depends on the density of the powdered ingredient.

Smaller doses: Doses less than 300mg may fit better into smaller 000 capsules. This prevents too much extra space inside larger capsules.

Oils: 000 capsules accommodate small 0.2-0.5ml oil amounts. Larger capsules fit bigger 1ml+ oil volumes.

Customer preferences: Some customers find larger capsules hard to swallow. Opt for smaller sizes if this is a concern.

Filling equipment: Capsule filling machines have size limits and optimal volumes. Select capsules that work with your equipment.

Alternatives to Capsules

Capsules have many benefits but they aren’t ideal for every situation. Here are some alternatives:

Tablets: Tablet presses compress powders into solid tablets without casings. Often preferred for shelf-stability.

Softgels: These use a flexible gelatin shell. Allows filling oils and emulsions that regular capsules can’t contain.

Liquid tinctures: Extracts and supplements can be bottled as liquids. Easy to absorb quickly.

Powder packets: Single doses of powder pre-measured in paper packets. Let users add to water or food.

Lozenges: Pressed tablets that dissolve slowly in the mouth. Used to deliver herbs, breath fresheners.

Gummies: Jelly-like chews made with gelatin, fruit juices, and sweeteners. Mask flavors and are fun to eat.

The best delivery method depends on the specific ingredients, doses, production constraints, and user preferences.


00 capsules have a versatile size and capacity that works for most common encapsulation needs. Their average capacity is around 0.95ml but can range between 0.8-1.1ml depending on factors like capsule shape and density of the ingredients.

Filling 00 capsules takes precision but simple manual methods can work for small batches. Large scale production benefits from automated capsule filling machines that improve speed and dosage accuracy.

With an understanding of sizing, capacity, proper filling, and quality assurance, 00 capsules allow easy encapsulation of supplements, essential oils, medications, and other ingredients into convenient one-dose units. Their moderate size balances ease of swallowing with sufficient capacity for many common needs.

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