• Pharmaceutical excipients;
  • Starch;
  • Tablets;
  • Tropical plants


Tropical roots and tubers, grains, cereals, and fruits are crops that have served as staple foods for millions of people throughout the hot and humid regions of the world for many centuries. Some of these crops grow in abundance with little or no artificial input. These tropical crops contain starch of as one their major component, which has made them good sources of starch that could be used as pharmaceutical excipients. In recent time, some of these starches have been investigated for use as fillers, glidants, binders, and disintegrants in pharmaceutical tablet formulations. The diversity of the starches from these plants has shown that some of the starches can be used in place of commercially available chemically modified starches. Their application as excipients can add value to some of these neglected and underutilized crops and also provide starch with special properties for specific applications. This review summarizes the present knowledge on the starches extracted from tropical plants that have been evaluated as pharmaceutical excipients and their potential usefulness, with a view to providing suggestions for needed research to adopt the utilization of these starches in the pharmaceutical industry.