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Starch Compounds May Provide Cheaper, More Eco-Friendly Food Supplements And Drugs

May 11, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A discovery by scientists at Penn State University may someday provide drug and food companies a cheaper, more eco-friendly alternative for creating controlled-release medications and vitamin-enriched food supplements. Using corn starch and a fatty acid ester the researchers created pockets that are able to carry oil soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, into the body. The pockets protect the vitamins from acids and heat as they travel through the stomach and into the small intestines, where they can be absorbed into the blood stream. The researchers suggested that because corn and other starches are common, biodegradable and easily absorbed by the body, their use would be inexpensive and better for the environment.
Ursula V. Lay Ma, John D. Floros, Gregory R. Ziegler, "Effect of starch fractions on spherulite formation and microstructure. Carbohydrate Polymers", Carbohydrate Polymers, May 11, 2011, © Elsevier B.V.
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