PROJECT DETAIL: DEVELOPMENT OF PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE STARCH
Following are the details of the project:
The national demand for starch is over 350,000tonnes per annum. Cassava and maize are the major sources of starch, though they serve as food sources for the teeming population in Nigeria. Available statistics put the national demand for maize starch raw materials at between 4000-4,500MT. To conserve cassava and maize for food, the Council, in collaboration with some of its stakeholders domesticated a wild yam specie, having found its starch to be of good quality for the production of pharmaceutical grade starch. Domestication and Propagation of the wild yam tuber would ensure sustainable supply of raw materials.
Starch of pharmaceutical grade has been obtained in significant quantities from the wild yam tubers. The starch obtained was found to have comparable properties to those of corn (maize) starch BP. It has been used as binder and disintegrate in the production of 500mg paracetamol tablets at laboratory and industrial scale using an appripnate granulation method. The wild yam starch can serve as a pharmaceutical excipient in large scale tablet production. The Council has also developed a bio-reactor in collaboration with a University for the production of glucose syrup from wild yam tubers.