Formulation Development and Producing Accurate Formulations

Producing Accurate Recipes for Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Chemicals, Food and other Markets

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Formulation Development and Producing Accurate Formulations


Formulation Development Workflow
  1. Select the formulation recipe
  2. Re-calculate recipe according to required target amount
  3. Prepare all necessary ingredients and equipment
  4. Enter the recipe ID on the balance
  5. Place the formulation container on the balance and tare
  6. Add the ingredients 1 by 1 to the container 
    • Log the actual weight of each ingredient
    • Check off each ingredient on the recipe list once it has been added
    • Zero the balance between each ingredient
  7. Label the formulation with all relevant data
  8. Print-out, document in lab notebook


Click Here to Learn More on Formulation Challenges in Various Industries and Workplaces

Different industries are addressing a variety of different goal by developing their formulations. The table below provides information on how formulations look like in the different industries and what the individual goals are:

Industry / WorkplaceFormulation DescriptionTargeted Improvement
Combination of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) with various inert ingredients (excipients) which allow to bring the drug into a form it can be administered to the patient. Possible forms may be tablet, capsule, inhaler or intravenously. 
  • Drug effectiveness – only a drug which releases its API at the right place is effective.
  • Drug shelf-life
  • Homogeneity within the tablet, liquid or capsule
Cosmetics / Flavor & FragranceFlavors or cosmetics are delicate combinations of 50 or more substances which need to be combined in an accurate manner. Differences in its formulation might result in difference in flavor.
  • Consistence in flavor, color, physical properties
  • Non-toxicity
  • Development of new flavors
Chemicals / PetrochemicalsLarge variety of products such as i.e. oils, paints, glues and lacquers. Such products often contain highly volatile or toxic substances.

Strongly depending on the product developed. In case of an oil it might be physical properties such as:

  • Viscosity
  • Lubrication performance
  • Ageing
  • Color
Food & BeveragesDevelopment of new products due to market demands. Development of new flavors, product with different texture at optimized costing. 
  • New product exciting customers
  • Economic viability (optimum cost)
  • Flavor
  • Shelf-life


Formulation Development Expert

Challanges of weighing in formulation processes

Laboratory Formulation Solution Overview and Comparison

METTLER TOLEDO offers a range of laboratory solutions for formulation to meet the varying needs of different industries. For basic formulation needs, you can trust our Standard Level analytical and precision balances to deliver accurate and reliable results.

Advanced and Excellence Level balances offer increasing levels of functionality and customization for your formulation applications.  For formulation in regulated environments, Excellence Level balances in combination with LabX software offer a full workflow solution, ensuring compliance with applicable regulations and full data integrity. Compare the benefits of each solution in the table below:

Standard PrecisionStandard AnalyticalAdvanced PrecisionAdvanced AnalyticalExcellence PrecisionExcellence AnalyticalBalances with LabXImage Map

Formulation Solution - Excellence Precision Balances

Formulation Development

Safe weighing range

Advanced Level Balances for Formulation Development

Formulation Development

Traceable Recipe Formulation

Industrial Scales for Formulation

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FAQs – Formulation Development

Frequently Asked Questions on Formulation Development and Recipe Executions

How can I ensure that the weight of each my formulation ingredients stays within the defined weighing tolerances?

METTLER TOLEDO Excellence Level balances enable you to save the formulation method, with ingredient amounts and its individual tolerances, on the balance. The built-in weighing guide helps you to dose to target and will provide a warning if you exceed the predefined limits. If you combine your Excellence Level balance with the LabX laboratory software, LabX can automatically adjust the ingredient quantities in the event that you exceed the tolerance of an ingredient.

During the formulation development process, can I save a formulation method and run it again later?

With Excellence Level balances you can save a formulation method on the balance which can be run again at any time.

I have to tick my formulation ingredients off a list as I add them and sometimes I get lost off. How can I avoid this?

On our Advanced Level balances you can see at any time how many ingredients you have added. The interim results can be viewed at any time directly on the balance display so you can confirm where you are in the formulation process.

On our Excellence Level balances, the formulation method is saved on the balance and will prompt you for the next ingredient by name, providing you with a simpler and more secure formulation process.

In our formulation development lab, we write down all the weights of the ingredients by hand. This takes a lot of time and I'm sure we sometimes make mistakes. How can we avoid this and speed up the process?

On both our Excellence Level and Advanced Level balances, the weight values of the individual formulation ingredients are saved automatically on the balance. The interim results can be viewed at any time. The final results can be printed out or transferred to a PC. Manual transcription of your formulation results is no longer necessary so transcription errors are eliminated, and you have more time to create new formulations.

In our food recipe development lab, many of the ingredients have similar colors. How can I be sure I don't add the same one twice?

A good idea is to include barcode labels on your ingredients to uniquely identify each sample. Excellence Level and Advanced Level balances support barcode readers; the ingredient barcode is scanned prior to adding it to the formulation so it's easy to check that you have the right ingredient. By connecting your Excellence Level balance to LabX, a warning will be given if you scan the same barcode again so it's not possible to add the same ingredient twice.

We make customized formulations of medicines to meet the particular needs of individual patients. We have to be sure to follow the formulation exactly and traceability of the raw materials is crucial.

An Excellence Level balance, LabX, a barcode reader and a printer can support you to meet your security and traceability requirements. Using barcodes eliminates the risk of transcription error. On scanning a barcode, LabX will provide prevents from discrepancies from the formulation. LabX can print a detailed, barcoded label for the finished formulation. All the information is stored securely in a centralized database so traceability is assured.

In our R&D lab, when we prepare formulations, we have problems with our balances not settling. We have noticed that sometimes reproducibility of our recipes is poor. What can we do?

When a balance fails to settle, there is a high chance that the weighing cell is being influenced by electrostatic charges. Electrostatic charges can build up on containers and samples through normal handling so you aren’t doing anything wrong. Sometimes the balance is able to settle but the weight value displayed on the balance may not be the true amount of the substance added, which could explain why reproducibility is poor. Electrostatic charging is one of the biggest hidden sources of weighing error so it's important to take steps to remove electrostatic charges from your containers and samples. Free-standing ionizers can be placed next to your analytical or precision balance; simply pass containers and samples through the ionizer before placing them on the balance. For a comprehensive static detection and elimination solution, Excellence Level analytical balances feature the innovative StaticDetect™ technology. StaticDetect measures the weighing error due to electrostatic charging and provides a warning if user-defined tolerances are exceeded. The Excellence Level optional ionizing module can be set to work automatically when the draft shield doors are closed, eliminating electrostatic charges inside the weighing chamber in just a few seconds.

We have a database of formulation components in our LIMS. How can I transfer the information I need to the balance?

LabX laboratory software is easily integrated with your LIMS to facilitate the transfer the information related to your formulation components to the formulation method run on the balance.