Mallinckrodt Magnesium Stearate
Mallinckrodt Magnesium Stearate (2257) is one of the most frequently used anti-adherents in medical tablet manufacturing processes. It can be used in dry as well as wet coating processes and stops products sticking to equipment.
Under its E number (E470b), the chemical is also used in confectionery manufacture and baby formulas. It may alter the release time, but not the behavior, of active ingredients.
Useful also as a lubricant in various medical manufacturing processes thanks to its non-stick nature, magnesium stearate can be sourced from either animal or vegetable oils. However, there are instances where vegetable oils are preferred: for example in nutritional supplements.
Supplied to industry in its purest powdered form, it presents a dust explosion hazard, which requires that appropriate care is taken when handling in large, industrial quantities.
In the home, both magnesium and calcium stearate can be produced by the use of soap in water, and are often found as a ring of so-called 'soap scum' around the sides of a bathtub or sink.