Development and Characterization of Phytosterol-Enriched Oil Microcapsules for Foodstuff Application
Phytosterols are lipophilic compounds contained in plants and have several biological activities. The use of phytosterols in food fortification is hampered due to their high melting temperature, chalky taste, and low solubility in an aqueous system. Also, phytosterols are easily oxidized and are poorly absorbed by the human body. Formulation engineering coupled with microencapsulation could be used to overcome these problems. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of encapsulating soybean oil enriched with phytosterols by spray-drying using ternary mixtures of health-promoting ingredients, whey protein isolate (WPI), inulin, and chitosan as carrier agents. The effect of different formulations and spray-drying conditions on the microencapsules properties, encapsulation efficiency, surface oil content, and oxidation stability were studied. It was found that spherical WPI-inulin-chitosan phytosterol-enriched soybean oil microcapsules with an average size below 50 μm could be produced with good encapsulation efficiency (85%), acceptable level of surface oil (11%), and water activity (0.2–0.4) that meet industrial requirements. However, the microcapsules showed very low oxidation stability with peroxide values reaching 101.7 meq O2/kg of oil just after production, and further investigations and optimization are required before any industrial application of this encapsulated system.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11947-017-1990-4
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