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Encapsulating betalains from Opuntia ficus-indica fruits by ionic gelation: Pigment chemical stability during storage of beads

Otálora, María Carolina, Carriazo, José Gregorio, Iturriaga, Laura, Osorio, Coralia, Nazareno, Mónica Azucena
Food chemistry 2016 v.202 pp. 373-382
Opuntia ficus-indica, betalains, bovine serum albumin, cactus pears, calcium alginate, differential scanning calorimetry, encapsulation, fruits, gelation, relative humidity, scanning electron microscopy, sorption isotherms, storage quality, temperature, thermal analysis, thermogravimetry
Betalain encapsulation was performed by ionic gelation as a stabilization strategy for these natural pigments. Betalains were extracted from purple cactus fruits and encapsulated in calcium-alginate and in combination of calcium alginate and bovine serum albumin. Beads were characterised by scanning electron microscopy and thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry. Moisture sorption isotherms were determined. Bead morphology was affected by matrix composition. Pigments storage stability was evaluated at different equilibrium relative humidity and temperatures. Pigment composition of beads was determined by HPLC–MS–MS and degradation products were also analysed after storage; betalamic acid being the major one. Both types of matrices protected the encapsulated pigments, being their storage stability better at low relative humidity than that of the non-encapsulated control material. Antiradical activities of beads were proportional to remaining betalain contents. At high relative humidity, there was no protection and low storage stability was observed in the samples.