Influence of granulation process parameters on food tablet properties formulated using natural powders (Opuntia ficus and Chlorella spp.)


A. Osorio-Fierros 1, K. Cronin 2, D. Ring 2, A. Méndez-Zavala 1, L. Morales-Oyervides 1, J.C. Montañez 1,*

1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
2 Department of Process and Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland


In this research two natural health supplements, cactus flour (Opuntia ficus) and microalgae biomass (Chlorella spp.) have been examined as novel ingredients to formulate health supplement tablets. The physical and mechanical properties of the pure powders were quantified, and their ability to be tableted directly without additional processing was investigated. High-shear wet granulation (HSWG) was explored to improve the flowability and compression characteristics of the powders. Using an L9 Taguchi experimental design, the effect of critical process parameters of HSWG was examined on quality attributes of tablets. Tablets were successfully formulated without the addition of excipients following wet granulation. Consistent and acceptable quality tablets were produced based on the optimal processing conditions determined by L9 Taguchi design. The tablet tensile strength achievedwas 0.91±0.05MPawith a disintegration time b30 min and a friability value of 0.05± 0.02%. The tablets obtained in the present study are comparable with commercial available natural supplement tablets in terms of disintegration time, friability and tensile strength. The research provided a basis for the potential use of Cactus (Opuntia spp.) and microalgae (Chlorella sp.) powders as novel ingredients for the development of dietary supplements tablets, and to be used as excipients for the production of pharmaceutical tablets.