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The effect of particle size on the sublimation behavior of butylhydroxytoluene as antioxidant in tablets during storage and coating

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The impact of particle size on the sublimation behavior of butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) was explored when BHT served as an antioxidant in tablets. The sublimation of pure BHT was determined to be unaffected by its particle size, resulting in pore formation on the surface of all tablets after storage at room temperature and above. Additionally, tablets containing a larger size fraction exhibited a higher residual BHT content after storage. X-ray μCT scans unveiled the development of peripherally larger pores at higher BHT particle sizes, indicating a slower sublimation rate in the tablet core. In a stability study, an escalation in BHT sublimation was observed at higher temperatures and longer exposure times across all size fractions. The influence of BHT particle size became more prominent at elevated temperatures, but this effect diminished with extended exposure time. Similar patterns were observed in film-coated tablets. Due to the brief exposure to elevated temperatures, a gradient in pore size was noted at smaller particle sizes, with peripheral pores being larger in uncoated tablets. The deposition of a film coating onto the tablets resulted in the disappearance of superficial pores. Following storage of the film-coated tablets, less BHT had sublimated compared to the uncoated tablets, indicating that while the coating layer did not entirely prevent sublimation, it did slow down the process.
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