Pharmaceutical glaze is an alcohol-based solution of various types of food-grade shellac.



When used in food and confections, it is also known as confectioner’s glaze, resinous glaze, pure food glaze, natural glaze, or confectioner’s resin.

Pharmaceutical glaze is a food-grade shellac often used for coating medicines. Shellac serves as a coating material for pharmaceutical tablets and capsules, and may be found in time-released, or extended-release medicines, as it slows down the drug break down in the stomach. Shellac is a resin that comes from the secretions of the female lac insect. When used in food and candies, shellac has the food additive number E904, and is described on food labels as ‘confectioner’s glaze’, ‘confectioner’s resin’, ‘resinous glaze’, ‘candy glaze’, ‘pure food glaze’ and ‘natural glaze’



Pharmaceutical glaze may contain 20–51% shellac in solution in ethyl alcohol (grain alcohol) that has not been denatured (denatured alcohol is poisonous),  waxes, and titanium dioxide as an opacifying agent. Confectioner’s glaze used for candy contains roughly 35% shellac, while the remaining components are volatile organic compounds that evaporate after the glaze is applied.

Pharmaceutical glaze is used by the drug and nutritional supplement industry as a coating material for tablets and capsules. It serves to improve the product’s appearance, extend shelf life and protect it from moisture, as well as provide a solid finishing film for pre-print coatings. It also serves to mask unpleasant odors and aid in the swallowing of the tablet.

The shellac coating is insoluble in stomach acid and may make the tablet difficult for the body to break down or assimilate. For this reason, it can also be used as an ingredient in time-released, sustained or delayed-action pills. The product is listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) inactive ingredient list.

Shellac is labeled as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the US FDA and is used as glaze for several types of foods, including some fruit, coffee beans, chewing gum, and candy


Please check with a specialist!


None are recorded.

Other names

confectioner’s glaze, resinous glaze, pure food glaze, natural glaze, or confectioner’s resin


Source: Wikipedia,,


































































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