Projects per year
The encapsulation of fish oil in carbohydrate-based nanomicrostructures obtained by electrohydrodynamic processing was investigated. Solutions of pullulan 200 kDa (15 wt%) and dextran 70 kDa (25 wt%) presented appropriate properties (viscosity, surface tension and conductivity) to allow the formation of nano-microfibers and nano-microcapsules, respectively. Although dextran 70 kDa exhibited antioxidant properties in solution, their capsules produced at lab and pilot-plant scales showed a low oxidative stability both with emulsified and neat oil. Phase separation of solution and opened capsules indicated a poor interaction between dextran and fish oil, which suggested that further optimization of the electrospraying solution is necessary. On the contrary, pullulan solutions were optimized to work even at pilot-plant scale. In this case, in spite of the prooxidant effect of pullulan in solution, oxidatively stable pullulan fibers (PV = 12.3 ± 0.9 meq O2/kg and 15.5 ± 5.1 ng/g of 1-penten-3-ol) were obtained when oil was incorporated as neat oil and when producing batches during short time (30 or 10 min). This superior oxidative stability when compared to fibers with emulsified oil is mainly attributed to a higher fish oil entrapment and to the location of the oil in large bead-structures with a reduced specific surface area. These results indicated the feasibility of producing omega-3 nanodelivery systems by encapsulating fish oil in pullulan nano-microfibers using electrospinning processing.