Isolation and characterization of microcrystalline cellulose obtained from palm nut (Elaeis guineensis) fibres

  • FO Ohwoavworhua
  • IE Uya
  • OO Kunle
  • OO Kunle


In this study, microcrystalline cellulose, coded MCC-PNF, was obtained from palm nut (Elaeis guineensis) fibres. MCC-PNF was examined for its physicochemical and powder properties. The powder properties of MCC-PNF were compared to those of the best commercial microcrystalline cellulose grade, Avicel PH 101. The extraction yield of MCC-PNF was approximately 8% w/w. The cellulose material was composed of irregularly shaped fibrous cellulose particles and has a moisture content of 5.6% and total ash of 0.21%. The true density was 1.54 g/cm3. The flow indices showed that MCC-PNF flowed poorly. The hydration and swelling capacities were 3.82 and 56.8% respectively. The study revealed that the cellulose material comparesfavourably with Avicel PH 101 and conformed to official requirements specified in the British Pharmacopoeia and Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients for microcrystalline cellulose.

Keywords: palm nut fibres, microcrystalline cellulose, isolation, characterization

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences Vol. 3(1) 2006: 255-262

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eISSN: 1596-8499