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Boosting the bioavailability of hydrophobic nutrients, vitamins, and nutraceuticals in natural products using excipient emulsions

McClements, David Julian, Saliva-Trujillo, Laura, Zhang, Ruojie, Zhang, Zipei, Zou, Liqiang, Yao, Mingfei, Xiao, Hang
Food research international 2016 v.88 pp. 140-152
absorption, bioactive properties, bioavailability, droplets, emulsions, fruits, functional foods, gastrointestinal system, hydrophobicity, ingredients, lipids, natural foods, nutrients, sauces, vegetables, vitamins, yogurt
Many highly hydrophobic bioactives, such as non-polar nutrients, nutraceuticals, and vitamins, have a relatively low or variable oral bioavailability. The poor bioavailability profile of these bioactives may be due to limited bioaccessibility, poor absorption, and/or chemical transformation within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The bioavailability of hydrophobic bioactives can be improved using specially designed oil-in-water emulsions consisting of lipid droplets dispersed within an aqueous phase. The bioactives may be isolated from their natural environment and then incorporated into the lipid phase of emulsion-based delivery systems. Alternatively, the bioactives may be left in their natural environment (e.g., fruits or vegetables), and then ingested with emulsion-based excipient systems. An excipient emulsion may have no inherent health benefits itself, but it boosts the biological activity of bioactive ingredients co-ingested with it by altering their bioaccessibility, absorption, and/or chemical transformation. This review discusses the design and fabrication of excipient emulsions, and gives some examples of recent research that demonstrates their potential efficacy for improving the bioavailability of hydrophobic bioactives. The concept of excipient emulsions could be used to formulate emulsion-based food products (such as excipient sauces, dressings, dips, creams, or yogurts) specifically designed to increase the bioavailability of bioactive agents in natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables.