By: Azman Zakaria
Photo by: Saleha Haron
SERDANG, May 24 - A group of researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has successfully developed Moringa Oleifera leaves as a low-cost multivitamin supplement in table form, which can be served as a food supplement for everyone, especially the lower income group.
This innovative product is named ‘Chewable Moringa Fruity Tablets’. The bitterness of Moringa leaves is masked through the use of fruit powder which is a taste masking agent, using a direct compression method to form chewable tablets.
Moringa Oleifera, known as daun kelor, daun lemunggai, gemunggai or remungai in the Malaysian community, is rich in combination of nutrients and contains anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, phenolics, flavonoids and complete protein with essential amino acids. Thus, it is dubbed as superfood.
Principal researcher of the group, Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Yus Aniza Yusof, from the Department of Process and Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UPM, said that the overcall cost of the tablet in lab scale is low (10 cent/tablet), compared to multivitamins and supplements available in the market.
She added that if an adult takes five tablets on a daily basis, these tablets can fulfil 100 percent RDA of vitamin A from pure natural source.
She said that the ‘Chewable Moringa Fruity Tablets’ dissolve on the tongue and have better absorption of nutrients in the body.
“This can eliminate first pass effect in which when a tablet is swallowed, it will first reach the stomach before being processed. Formulation of fruit powder can mask the bitterness of Moringa leaves powder and is easy to swallow. It is easy to consume or chew and can be taken without the need of water like other tablets.”
According to her, the standardisation of the invented tablet was done according to the prescribed parameters of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Pharmacopeia for disintegrating tablets.
Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Yus Aniza said that this innovation has the potential to help people who suffer from malnutrition or are unwell because the tablet is easy to consume and low-cost.
“It also has the potential for commercialisation to help lower income group as well as for recommendation to be used in crisis zones, such as war zone, flood and draught affected areas for the ease of management, storage and distribution,” she added.
Besides Dr Yus Aniza, other researchers from the research group are Dr. Muhammad Azhar Ali, Prof. Ir. Dr. Chin Nyuk Ling and Dr. Mohd Nordin Ibrahim.
Moringa has been used in the traditional medicine for centuries in many cultures around the world for treatment of diseases such as skin infections, anemia, anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, cholera, conjunctivitis, cough, diarrhoea, eye and ear infections, fever, glandular, swelling, headaches, abnormal blood pressure, hysteria, pain in joints, pimples, psoriasis and sore throats.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been promoting Moringa as an alternative to imported food supplies to treat malnutrition since 1998. – UPM
Updated:: 04/06/2018 [engkuliyana]
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