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Boosting bioactive nutrient delivery

A review paper published in Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies  details reasons to conclude that nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) are a promising delivery system in food for bioactive components that are non-water soluble.  The authors, from Isfahan University in Iran, cite around 180 papers to argue that NLC can increase the stability and bioavailability of these bioactive compounds and avoid the problems/disadvantages of other lipid nanocarriers such as low encapsulation efficiency, low drug loading and physicochemical instability. NLC are a delivery system in which partially-crystallized lipid particles with mean radii ≤100 nm are dispersed in an aqueous phase containing emulsifier(s), making them suitable for incorporation into aqueous-based foods. NLC may be produced by high pressure homogenisation and added to pasteurized transparent, translucent and opaque products such as beer, fruit juice and milk. NLC can also be added to food systems before pasteurization. They can also be spray-dried or lyophilized, and processed in a variety of ways.  The authors note that NLC offer the potential for controlled release, applicable for both sustained and delayed releases which are time-or site-dependent. Burst release can also be achieved by controlling the physical state of the core lipid, which can increase flavour release in fast foods and ready-meals during heating and consumption. Moreover, NLC have high loading capacity and their ingredients can be selected from low-cost food-grade and GRAS materials.  The authors conclude that foodstuffs containing bioactive-loaded NLC can be regarded as possible health-promoting nutraceuticals.

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