Scientists look to boost carotenoid delivery from emulsions

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

A combination of in vitro digestion models and experimental design could lead to the optimization of food emulsions with added health benefits.

“The development of bioactive food items requires the estimation of bioaccessibility and/or bioavailability as one of the multiple criteria for assessing the functionality of formulated foodstuffs,”​ wrote the researchers from the University of Cordoba in Spain.

“Therefore, this analytical approach is of interest for food designers for the screening and control of the factors and components that modify the bioaccessibility of bioactive compounds in a given matrix, and consequently, formulation conditions may be selected through which higher bioaccessibility may be achieved.”

The researchers used carotenoid-rich paprika oleoresin (Capsicum annuum​ L.) and formulated different emulsions using different emulsifying agents.

This initial screening phase showed that the bioaccessibility was modified mainly by factors such as synergies and antagonisms of the emulsifying mixture.

From the initial nine emulsifiers tested, four were selected for the optimizing phase: saccharose monodistearate, glyceryl palmitostearate, propylene glycol laurate, and hexaglyceryl distearate.

“The optimized mixture included saccharose monodistearate, propylene glycol laurate, and hexaglyceryl distearate,”​ wrote the researchers.

Indeed, the ratios used in the optimal mixture were 36.7, 45.3, and 18.0 per cent, respectively. Such combinations are similar to those used in dermal delivery systems to increase the transfer of drugs to the target tissue, said the researchers.

“The use of propylene glycol laurate may increase the fluidity of the interface and decrease the polarity of the aqueous environment. This effect may enhance the transfer of lipophilic compounds to the micelles,”​ said the researchers.

“The addition of hexaglyceryl distearate may also facilitate the solubilization of carotenoids and their transfer to micelles,”​ they added.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​Published online ahead of print, ASAP Article​, doi:, 10.1021/jf801910y“Developing an Emulsifier System To Improve the Bioaccessibility of Carotenoids”​Authors: E. Fernaandez-Garcia, F. Rincon, A. Perez-Gálvez

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