Iota-Carrageenan and Starch Matrices as the Suitable Delivery Systems of Curcumin and Resveratrol

Tianming Yao, Purdue University


With the development of the industry and economy, healthy foods such as functional foods and nutraceuticals are highly demanded, especially by the people with chronic diseases and children. Polyphenols such as curcumin and resveratrol are proven to be effective for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer. However, their unstable properties and water insolubility curtail their application in developing food supplements, functional foods and medicinal foods. Highly efficient and economical delivery systems are helpful to overcome this quandary. Among the several available carrier materials, polysaccharide based delivery materials stand out tall due to their lack of toxicity, cost-effectiveness and compatibility to humans. Herein, two categories of polysaccharides, namely dietary fiber and starch, were investigated. Iota-carrageenan (IC) has been chosen as the model fiber, because it forms thermos-reversible gels and oriented fibers with ordered networks. Curcumin and resveratrol were encapsulated in IC fibers for different time periods. The results demonstrate that encapsulation time indeed dictates the overall entrapped amount with an optimal time of 3 weeks. The two polyphenols are heat protected and released in a sustained manner from the IC network. The outcome offers an elegant opportunity for developing value-added delivery systems of polyphenols, in particular, and health promoting and disease preventing compounds, in general, based on ordered hydrocolloid networks. Natural starch granules contain crystalline networks and could serve as ideal wall materials to protect polyphenols. The water channels present in B-type starch networks, e.g. potato starch, are suited well for this purpose. Towards this end, potato, cassava, high amylose maize and waxy maize starches were selected to encapsulate the curcumin and resveratrol. In vitro starch digestion analyses reveal highly encouraging results from the potato and high amylose maize starch complexes because of their reduced starch digestibility. The outcome seems to lay a strong foundation for design and development of novel food supplements, functional foods and medicinal foods. Overall, the current study provides a novel encapsulation material for polyphenols and offers some optimal conditions for sample preparation, which will indeed have the potential to develop a cost-effective and human compatible carrier system.




Janaswamy, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Food Science

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