BASF and Kentwood-based X-Rite Inc. said Wednesday that they now offer the pharmaceutical industry an easy-to-handle on-site approach to color coating tablets by combining X-Rite’s ColorEye XTH handheld spectrophotometer for color measurement with BASF’s Kollicoat IR Coating Systems.

The ColorEye XTH determines the precise colors of tablets that are then easily translated into BASF’s Kollicoat IR Coating Systems recipe, matching the desired color shade perfectly. This collaboration is part of the ongoing trend towards immediate availability of results without any outsourcing activities.

“This unique, systematic and easy-to-apply approach to color matching draws on the expertise of both BASF and X-Rite to provide a solution that responds to the specific challenges faced by pharmaceutical formulators today. This solution goes beyond anything else currently available,” said Kathrin Meyer-Böhm, Pharma Ingredients and Services, BASF. Within minutes the color of a tablet can be determined by ColorEye XTH and translated into a Kollicoat IR Coating Systems recipe that can be formulated easily on-site. This approach replaces complex logistic processes and ensures that in-house formulation knowledge remains confidential.

“Through this collaboration with BASF, we can reach out to customers in a wider scope, from technical aspects to manufacturing and development sectors,” said Francesco Tomasello, vice president of marketing and sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for X-Rite. “We see this as a successful collaboration and expect good business to follow.”

BASF’s Kollicoat IR Coating Systems are an innovative modular system of seven base colors. The base colors are designed to combine easily to produce instantly recognizable tablets in hundreds of different shades. Kollicoat IR Coatings Systems, with excellent flow properties, quick re-dispersibility and very low viscosity, allow a shorter spray process because they accommodate high concentrations of solids over a wide temperature range. These unique characteristics result in high quality film coatings and cost-effective coating processes.

X-Rite’s ColorEye XTH handheld spectrophotometer is a practical device that accurately measures tablet and capsule colors. The ColorEye XTH precisely measures the colors of contoured and textured opaque parts in a wide range of sizes, taking into account how the human eye responds to surface effects. The instrument has different apertures to accommodate a wide range of tablet sizes and shapes.

This unique on-site approach to color matching for pharmaceutical applications is part of BASF’s ExActCoat+ coating events. Upcoming ExActCoats+ are planned in the fall for the United States and Asia. For further information, please contact the BASF coating experts at

X-Rite develops, manufactures, markets and supports color measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical. For further information, visit .

BASF produces and markets a broad range of generic active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients, as well as exclusive synthesis services for the pharmaceutical industry. These products are made using the latest technologies, to the highest quality standards and in compliance with cGMP guidelines. Further information can be found at:


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