Micro-hydrogels are very promising systems for the protection and controlled delivery of sensitive bioactives, but limited knowledge exists regarding the impact of this encapsulation on their bioaccessibility. In this work, two different hydrogel-forming biopolymers (gelatin and chitosan) were compared as wall materials for the microencapsulation of a model flavonoid, (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Results showed that gelatin was more adequate as wall material for the encapsulation of EGCG than chitosan, achieving higher encapsulation efficiencies (95% ± 6%), being more effective in delaying EGCG release and degradation in aqueous solution and exhibiting a 7 times higher bioaccessibility of the bioactive compound (in terms of antioxidant activity) after in-vitro gastrointestinal digestion. A very low bioaccessibility of EGCG in chitosan was observed, due to the neutralization of the carbohydrate in the basic simulating salivary conditions, thus precluding subsequent flavonoid release. Moreover, gelatin micro-hydrogels also hindered dimer formation during in-vitro digestion, thus suggesting greater bioavailability when compared with free EGCG.
Food Hydrocolloids – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2016
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