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Journal of Pharmaceutics
Volume 2016, Article ID 7608693, 12 pages
Research Article

Physicochemical and Antimicrobial Properties of Cocoa Pod Husk Pectin Intended as a Versatile Pharmaceutical Excipient and Nutraceutical

1Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
2School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

Received 28 November 2015; Accepted 14 February 2016

Academic Editor: Pornsak Sriamornsak

Copyright © 2016 Ofosua Adi-Dako et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The physicochemical and antimicrobial properties of cocoa pod husk (CPH) pectin intended as a versatile pharmaceutical excipient and nutraceutical were studied. Properties investigated include pH, moisture content, ash values, swelling index, viscosity, degree of esterification (DE), flow properties, SEM, FTIR, NMR, and elemental content. Antimicrobial screening and determination of MICs against test microorganisms were undertaken using agar diffusion and broth dilution methods, respectively. CPH pectin had a DE of 26.8% and exhibited good physicochemical properties. Pectin had good microbiological quality and exhibited pseudoplastic, shear thinning behaviour, and high swelling capacity in aqueous media. The DE, FTIR, and NMR results were similar to those of previous studies and supported highly acetylated low methoxy pectin. CPH pectin was found to be a rich source of minerals and has potential as a nutraceutical. Pectin showed dose-dependent moderate activity against gram positive and gram negative microorganisms but weak activity against Listeria spp. and A. niger. The MICs of pectin ranged from 0.5 to 4.0 mg/mL, with the highest activity against E. coli and S. aureus (MIC: 0.5–1.0 mg/mL) and the lowest activity against A. niger (MIC: 2.0–4.0 mg/mL). The study has demonstrated that CPH pectin possesses the requisite properties for use as a nutraceutical and functional pharmaceutical excipient.