Pharmaceutical & nutraceutical lozenge manufacturing: Zile, the “Swiss made” quality


“Swiss made”


This term does not only refer to the country of origin of high-quality watches, but it also identifies the great reputation that Switzerland has won for the quality of some of its characteristic products.

They are often regarded as superior products by consumers, thanks to the high production standards that have won customer confidence.

Just like Zile Ltd. – – which is located in Rupperswil, in the heart of Switzerland.

They are specialist for the development and production of a broad assortment of different candies and innovative quality products. Founded in 1947, as an independent privately owned family and today managed by the owner and CEO Marc Lehnert, Zile can count on a staff of 60 people.

In more than 70 years, Zile has become an important manufacturer of high-quality products, with international expertise, following the high production standards typical of “Swiss made”.

Zile core business is focused on 3 sectors:

  • Products for the retail food sector, for home and abroad markets.
  • Dietary supplements for applications with additives as vitamins, minerals and plant extracts.
  • Pharmaceutical applications for the OTC industry, with chemical API’s and highly concentrated plant extracts (THMP products).

Capacity production lines 2’500 tons annually in 6 different lines.

The export share is about 40% of their production (recognized worldwide as high Swiss quality products).

They are specialized in custom products for supermarkets and pharmaceutical companies.




Zile’s distinctive features – compared to conventional candy producers – are:

  • Flexibility, thanks to the company size that allows a quick decision making.
  • Innovation, thanks to the R&D capabilities of its internal team.
  • Product customisation for the individual needs of each customer.
  • High quality of ingredients and modern production facilities.
  • Use of the best raw materials, which guarantee the highest quality of products – together with comprehensive control throughout the entire production process.




The Requirement: medicated lozenges

Nuova Euromec started its collaboration with Zile more than 25 years ago, through the supply of an Apollo line for the production of hard filled candies.

“We have found the long-term cooperation with Euromec to be very positive, as in previous projects: rapid response times, reliable project management, excellent follow-up and service. We are very satisfied with the result and have been able to realize numerous new customer projects as a result”.

Marc Lehnert – Zile CEO said –

By virtue of this tested partnership and the guaranteed service throughout the years, Zile selected us to participate in the realization of the new production department with pharmaceutical standards created in 2018.

Unlike what had happened 20 years earlier, with the supply of the forming line to produce filled candies, in this new project Zile’s goal changed. Their needs have been evolving over the years, passing from an application-oriented to confectionery, to new trends in pharmaceutical and nutritional products.

“Opening up new markets and customer segments for the pharmaceutical sector, with a high-performance plant that meets the high GMP standards for the OTC sector”

Marc Lehnert – Zile CEO said.

In modern society, the attention to health – also linked to healthy eating – has reached a wide audience of consumers.

Also thanks to the Internet, social media and to the increased awareness and information of modern consumers, the search for a healthier lifestyle has been amplified in the public opinion.

According to a study by Allied Market Research, functional food market size was estimated at $177,770.0 million in 2019, and is estimated to reach $267,924.4 million by 2027, recording an annual growth rate of investment of 6.7% in the forecast period 2021-2027.


Some candy producers have therefore adapted to these new trends, by changing their product offer.

Even candies, in fact, follow the new trend of using natural raw materials coming from organic farming, in order to become products – not only pleasant to taste – but also healthy.

The certifications that give these products the organic, vegan, natural status or with nutritional and medical-healing properties, help candies to lose the false connotations of unhealthy products.

If compared to gummies and other items, medicated products may be more suited for a hard candy delivery system, particularly where the slow release of the active ingredient is required. These include antiseptics, menthol and eucalyptus oil to alleviate the symptoms of minor ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats and nasal congestion.




A product that can boast in its list of ingredients some dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, natural extracts, omega 3, can acquire status and value higher than the one of a simple candy.




Over the years, Zile had become more and more oriented towards new pharmaceutical and nutritional trends, and the time had therefore come to increase the production of tablets (lozenges) for OTC and pharmaceutical products. To achieve this goal, a new department was created: a clean room, with the highest modern standards of automation, hygiene and efficiency.

The final product was to be a lozenge, with or without sugar, based on isomalt, sorbitol or other different sweeteners. This lozenge also had to ensure the maximum accuracy and consistency in the filling dosage (when required by the product specifications).

Another essential feature for this type of OTC, nutraceutical or with API products, is the repetitiveness and consistency of the recipe and ingredients, which must always be present in the same concentration and with minimal variations.

An overdose of certain active ingredients could produce undesirable effects in the human body and the manufacturer could be held responsible.



 The Solution: pharmaceutical equipment for tablets and pastilles

To meet these needs, we have provided a high-capacity Explorer line, customised on the basis of the experience gained by Zile in the nutritional sector, studying and implementing the various customer requests.



The forming line perfectly interfaces with a new high-capacity cooking plant, that is able to achieve a production of about 1,500 kg/h of lozenges with or without sugar.





We have used last-generation high-speed chain die sets, which guarantee a perfect product forming, seamless and with the possibility of introducing a high quantity of filling.





Consistency and precision in filling dosing are guaranteed by an advanced filling pump. The pump, thanks to high precision measuring instruments, ensures perfect synchronisation with the forming line.

In addition, the pump accuracy together with the constant and continuous feeding of the mass coming from the continuous cooker, allow obtaining a candy with a constant percentage of filling and minimum fluctuations.

The machines have been realized with a design and finishes that follow GMP dictates (good manufacturing practice), to facilitate cleaning operations and improve even more the hygiene standards normally required by the confectionery industry.

The cooling tunnel allows the complete, fast and easy inspection of each part and also incorporates an automated CIP (clean in place), to reduce water consumption and optimize washing and sanitization times.



The Results: high efficiency and precision in candy production

Thanks to the new generation chain system, the new line allows to produce the classic round pad shape, perfectly formed, without imperfections and wrapped in blister.

The new line has proven to be performing to obtain products with a high health and nutritional value such as: herbal lozenges, lemon ginger lozenges, vitamin C lozenges, lozenges with echinacea and vitamin C, honey lozenges.





It also allows the manufacturing of products containing API or medicines to relieve sore throat such as: sore throat lozenges, anesthetic lozenges, children’s cough drops, flu throat lozenges, medicated lozenges, menthol cough drops.





The advantages obtained can be summarized as follows:

  • High production efficiency, thanks to waste reduction and high forming quality of the final product.
  • Seamless and perfectly shaped candies.
  • Precise tolerances and weight control, to ensure the minimum possible deviations between each product.
  • Automatic and faster cleaning, sanitization and maintenenance, thanks to the high care in GMP design and finishing of the line.
  • Quick change of the die set in 1 minute, to ensure continuous production of the line.

Contract development and manufacturing of lozenges is more than having superior technology – it is having experienced people who are responsive and committed to developing and manufacturing your products to improve your portfolio.

Marc Lehnert – Zile CEO said

Thanks to continuous investments, research and quality in the raw materials used, Zile continues to be a proud representative of “Swiss made” quality.


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