Caffeine anhydrate was used as a core active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), and DC tablets were made by the direct compression method. Near-infrared (NIR) spectra were obtained from these intact DC tablets using the transmittance method. The reference assay was performed with HPLC. Calibration models were generated by partial least squares (PLS) regression and principal component regression (PCR) utilizing external validations. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) of the results confirmed that NIR spectroscopy correctly detected off-centered cores in DC tablets. We formulated and used the Centering Index (CI) to evaluate the precision of core alignment and generated an NIR calibration model that could correctly predict this index. The principal component (PC) 1 loading vector of the final calibration model indicated that it could specifically detect the misalignment of tablet cores. The model also had good linearity and accuracy. The CIs of unknown sample tablets predicted by the final calibration model and those calculated through the HPLC analysis were closely parallel with each other. These results demonstrate the validity of the final calibration model and the utility of the transmittance NIR spectroscopic method developed in this study as a monitoring system in DC tableting process.
The article is published online in the journal Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin and is free to access.