Waxy corn starch: A potent cofiller in pellets produced by extrusion-spheronization

Riitta Junnila, Päivi Palviainen, Jyrki Heinämäki, Päivi Myllärinen, Pirkko Forssell, Jouko Yliruusi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of waxy corn (maize) starch as a cofiller and diluent in pellets produced by aqueous extrusion–spheronization. Waxy corn starch was combined with microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) in the range of 20–50% of the entire composition. Pellets containing ordinary corn starch or lactose with MCC were used as reference. The shape of pellets was characterized using an optical microscopic image analysis system. The surface and cross-sectional structure were investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The replacement of ordinary corn starch by waxy corn starch made it possible to increase the amount of starch from 20 to 40%. The pellets containing 50% waxy corn starch were of poorer quality but superior to those containing 30% corn starch. The surface structure became slightly more irregular with respect to the amount of either starch, and a cavity was formed inside the pellet during the spheronization. The origin of starch did not affect the surface structure of the pellets. Waxy corn starch is a potential cofiller: the amount of MCC can be reduced in pellets produced by extrusion–spheronization by using waxy corn starch as a cofiller. This enables the reduction of the manufacturing cost of pellets with low drug load.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
JournalPharmaceutical Development and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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