2022 Volume 70 Issue 8 Pages 558-565
Hardness is a critical quality characteristic of pharmaceutical oral jelly. In this study, the hardness was determined by using the T2 relaxation curves measured by time-domain NMR. For sample preparation, kappa- and iota-carrageenans, and locust bean gum, were used as gel-forming agents. Ten test jellies with different gel-forming agent composition were prepared, and their hardness and T2 relaxation curves were measured by a texture analyzer and time-domain NMR (TD-NMR). A negative correlation between T2 relaxation time (T2) and hardness was observed; however, it was difficult to determine the hardness directly from the T2 value. That is probably because the T2 relaxation curve contains information about molecular states, not only of water but also of the solute, and T2 values calculated by single-exponential curve fitting only express one property of the test jelly. By considering this issue, partial least squares (PLS) regression analysis was performed on the T2 relaxation curves for hardness determination of the test jellies. According to the analysis, an accurate and reliable PLS model was created that enabled accurate assessment of the hardness of the test jellies. TD-NMR enables the measurement of samples nondestructively and rapidly with low cost, and so could be a promising method for evaluation of the hardness of pharmaceutical oral jellies.