Sunday, October 01, 2017

Squid Ink Waste: The Alternative for L-Dopa Raw Material

L-Dopa is the common medicine used for Parkinson disease treatment. Parkinson disease is a movement disorder with the symptoms are tremor on the arm, leg, face, and jaw, joint stiffness, and balance disorder. See the video below.

Video Source:

Besides those physical symptoms, the patient also feels depressed and hard to sleep. Even though most of the patients are coming from elderly with the age over 65, but in the recent decade, a research found that this disease has started to strike a productive age over 40 years old.

If you were the patient, you would live your life really uncomfortably, with the difficultness and stiffness in the movements, depression feeling, and hard to sleep. 

While the price for L-Dopa is quite expensive, around 4500 IDR per tablet. A medicine is considered as an inexpensive or affordable medicine when the price is in the range of 200 IDR per tablet. So, the price for L-Dopa is 20 times more expensive than the affordable one. 

What does make the L-Dopa expensive?

The cost of production itself does make the L-Dopa expensive. The production involves a synthesis reaction. When you were in the high school, you might remember this scheme.

The scheme above is the production of L-Dopa reaction. The reaction that I have shown above is using catalyst, but not a simple catalyst, an expensive catalyst so it makes the whole production cost of L-Dopa expensive. 

The synthesis reaction was invented by Knowles who is the Nobel Prize winner. The process is still used by most of the pharmaceutical industries all around the world, so the price of L-Dopa is still expensive. Moreover, Indonesia is not able to produce its own L-Dopa so it makes the price of L-Dopa more and more expensive, Indonesia obtain L-Dopa by import, even there is a fact that 95% of pharmaceutical raw material in Indonesia is obtained by import so, in the other word, Indonesia is still depending on other countries on supplying the need of L-Dopa. Therefore, the expensive process and the L-Dopa that is obtained by import make the L-Dopa expensive and less affordable. 

Hence, I would like to invite all of you to agree with the idea, to use the squid ink waste as the source of L-Dopa raw material. Why squid ink?

Because there is a research that found that squid ink contains L-Dopa substance 2.18 nmol per mg. So, scientifically it is proven that L-Dopa is contained in the squid ink.

Why squid ink waste? Moreover, it will be less expensive, large in amount, and potentially to be supported by Indonesia government.

Firstly, it will be less expensive if we use the squid ink waste. Of course, since we use the waste of the squid ink that is usually thrown away by the fisherman because they think it doesn't have value, so we can get the squid ink waste for free or pay with a cheap price. Even, by utilizing the waste we help the government to decrease the water pollution as we know there are still irresponsible people who throw away the squid ink waste to the sea without thinking about its bad impact. One of the examples was in Bali which its Kedongan sea was polluted by the smelly squid ink waste. 

Other than that, we don't need to follow the synthesis process since we obtain the L-Dopa from a natural source. The common L-Dopa produced through Knowless method is the synthetic one which is from chemical substance. While the production method for natural substances and chemical substance is different. The production method for natural substance will involve extraction, isolation, and purification. Those processes are purposed to separate the L-Dopa compound from the squid ink and to have the L-Dopa in its high purity.

That's why the L-Dopa from the squid ink doesn't need to follow the expensive process from Knowless method. Even though, the production method from the squid ink is still investigated. I believe the method will be less expensive since mostly the production method from the natural source is that less expensive. 

Secondly, the squid ink is available in the large amount. Of course, because the squid ink is coming from the squid. While, the squid itself is one of the biggest export compodities in Indonesia beside shrimp, lobster, crabs, and others. The squid is available for about 25000 ton per year. So, we don't need to worry about the supply of the squid ink waste. We also don't need to worry about how to collect the squid ink waste, we can cooperate with the squid supplier so we don't need to collect the squid ink waste from the fisherman directly.

Thirdly, it is potential to be supported by the government. Jokowi, our president now, through the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, tried to change our nation development direction from land-based to maritime-based. Why does maritime? As we have already known since the elementary school that the biggest part or for about two-thirds of Indonesia zone is the sea and our country is rich in maritime-based.  How come? There have been so many researches which supported that the maritime base of Indonesia is potential to be developed but for so many years it was underdeveloped. Our government now realized the opportunity to increase our economy by focusing on developing the maritime base.

So, there is no doubt that the squid ink waste is really recommended to be developed as the L-Dopa raw material because it will be really less expensive, available in a large amount, and potentially to be supported by the government. 

Therefore, I hope all of you will agree with the idea to use the squid ink waste as the L-Dopa raw material. If you agree with the idea, at the same time, you agree to change. Change to be independent, not to depend on other countries anymore. If it's not you to change, who else? I really appreciated your voice and your support.

That's all. Thank you for reading my post :D
I'm sorry if there are any mistakes. 
Posted on by Nurul Fajry Maulida | No comments


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