Skip To The Main Content

PDA Glossary

PDA Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

PDA Technical Reports are highly valued membership benefits because they offer expert guidance and opinions on important scientific and regulatory topics and are used as essential references by industry and regulatory authorities around the world. These reports include terms which explain the material and enhance the reader’s understanding.

The database presented here includes the glossary terms from all current technical reports. The database is searchable by keyword, topic, or by technical report. Each definition provided includes a link to the source technical report within the PDA Technical Report Portal.

Browse Terms by Title


Browse Terms by TR #

  • Atypical Particles (AP)

    Particles that should not be present in excipients, APIs, intermediates, and final oral dosage forms, and their presence should always trigger an investigation. These particles consist of foreign matter that is not intended/designed to be in direct contact with the product/manufacturing process. These particles commonly originate from materials which accidently or unintentionally come into contact with the product or a process stream. (TR78)
  • Extrinsic Particles

    Those particles that are not part of the formulation, package, or assembly process but rather are foreign and unexpected. Materials such as rubber, metal, and plastic are defined as extrinsic in cases where the specific material identified is not a product-contact material. (TR78)

    Foreign material that comes from outside the primary process.  Often these are from the manufacturing environment or incomplete cleaning of components. They are uncontrolled. (TR85)

  • Intrinsic Particles

    Those particles that arise from sources related to the formulation, packaging, or assembly proces­ses. In each of these cases, the particle material (e.g., glass, stainless steel, rubber, or gasket ma­terial) could be identified as a known product-contact material. (TR78)

    A particle that comes from within the primary process.  These are qualified product contact materials and are often associated with the primary packaging components.  They are unplanned but not unexpected.(TR85)

  • Technically Unavoidable Particles (TUPs)

    Particles that are visibly different from the bulk of the material when viewed with the naked eye within the container or against a suitable back­ground (e.g., size, shape, color, number, texture) and are inherent to the manufacturer’s process, product, or raw materials. The unintended pres­ence of a small quantity of particles, stemming from impurities of natural or synthetic ingre­dients, the manufacturing process, storage, or migration from packaging that is technically un­avoidable in good manufacturing practice, and do not pose a risk to patient safety. (TR78)