Preservatives are widely used substances that are commonly added to various foods, cosmetics as well as pharmaceutical products to prevent or inhibit the growth of microbes in them. These products are used on a daily basis and hence, need to have a long shelf life. Most of these products have high water content and hence, it is essential to add preservatives to avoid degradation.
Preservatives used in pharmaceutical preparations have to fit into the various selection conditions before they are used in the preparations. Some of these conditions include concentration, pH, taste, odour and solubility. A preservative has to be compatible, inexpensive, stable, nontoxic and have an acceptable taste. The preservative has to be effective against a wide-ranging variety of bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Certain preparations, like syrups, are inherently preserved because of the high concentration of sugar in the solution, which serves as an osmotic preservative.
The task is not over on finding the right preservative. The product needs to be packaged rightly. The preservative’s chemical proportion in the product could alter during storage. This could be due to absorption by the package or in-use infection or change in storage temperature. Hence,
preservative manufacturers in India take extra care to make sure that throughout the manufacturing process and even later, during the storage and shipping, the product is essentially microbe-free. Packages and delivery devices need to keep up the quality of the product that was achieved at the manufacturing juncture throughout its shelf-life, especially during its usage period.
Various measures need to be taken to meet the stable quality of the product. Microbial levels need to be controlled in every component, i.e., drug recipients, container etc., this can be achieved through vendor certification, testing, package validation, storage in clean areas. The product needs to be manufactured in an environment that is essentially microbe-free.