Studies on the physicochemical properties of Abelmuscus esculentus L. (Okra) pods - a potential tablet excipient
This study aims at evaluating the physicochemical and compaction characteristics of dried powdered pods of Abelmuscus esculentus (Okra). The physicochemical properties were determined and the compressional behaviour of the Okra powder was analysed using density measurements and parameters from Heckel and Kawakita plots. Okra powders had higher tapped and bulk density values than microcrystalline cellulose but lower values compared to corn starch. The hydration and swelling capacities values showed that Okra powders were capable of absorbing at least five times its own weight of water and swelled considerably. Furthermore, Okra powders had superior hydration and swelling capacities (p<0.05) to corn starch and microcrystalline cellulose. The ability to absorb water and swell considerably could be explored in disintegration of tablets. Corn starch induced faster onset of plastic deformation than Okra powders but the
overall amount of plastic deformation occurring during compression was higher for Okra powders. Therefore tableting machines with longer dwell times will be more appropriate for the production of tablets formulated
with Okra powders. Results suggest that Okra powder has great potentials as pharmaceutical raw material in tablet formulation and production.
Keywords: Okra, hydration capacity, swelling capacity, compressional characteristics.
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