UNAIR expert finds breakthrough to increase health benefits of folic acid

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Nutrition expert, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Airlangga, Annis Catur Adi said that in the market, supplements containing folic acid are available in various forms, such as multivitamin tablets, single folic acid tablets, and multivitamin syrup. In these products, the added folic acid is folic acid in its pure or unmodified form.

However, folic acid has the disadvantage of being easily decomposed by several environmental factors. It causes a decrease in levels of folic acid during storage, some even found in very little amount.

Such cases, according to Annis, are often not realized by ordinary people, including business people because, physically there is no real change. As a result, people who consume folic acid do not get the benefits as expected because the dose is not sufficient.

“Efforts are needed to stabilize folic acid during the process of supplement making containing folic acid,” Annis said.

Annis and the team said, one of the efforts to increase the use value of folic acid was through the use of nanotechnology, technology that modifies a material so that it has very small particle size (on a nano scale).

“Folic acid nanoemulsion preparations are made by self-nanoemulsification or spontaneous nanoemulsification methods. Nanoemulsion is made by mixing vitamin E as an oil phase, Tween 20 as a surfactant, and PEG 400 as a cosurfactant,” Annis said.

The mixture is then stirred and sonicated, then added to the aqueous phase to form a nanometer-sized nanoemulsion system which is clear visually.

The nanoemulsion formed will be characterized and determined its stability in storage. The use of nanotechnology in folic acid was conveyed in a research study conducted by Annis and the team. (*)

Author: Binti Q. Masruroh

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia



Annis Catur Adi, Christanto Christanto, Heni Rachmawati and Amirah Adlia. Vitamin E-based Folic Acid Nanoemulsion: Formulation and Physical Evaluation for Oral Administration. Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, 2019, 7, 304-313.

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