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In Vitro Bioavailability, Cellular Antioxidant Activity, and Cytotoxicity of β-Carotene-Loaded Emulsions Stabilized by Catechin–Egg White Protein Conjugates

Gu, Luping, Pan, Che, Su, Yujie, Zhang, Ruojie, Xiao, Hang, McClements, David Julian, Yang, Yanjun
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2018 v.66 no.7 pp. 1649-1657
antioxidant activity, antioxidants, beta-carotene, bioactive compounds, bioavailability, cytotoxicity, droplets, emulsifiers, emulsions, encapsulation, gastrointestinal system, hydrophobicity, lipids, oxidation
Previously, it was shown that catechin–egg white protein (CT-EWP) conjugates were effective antioxidant emulsifiers that could form and stabilize emulsions, and also inhibit the degradation of encapsulated carotenoids. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the impact of conjugation on the in vitro bioavailability, cellular antioxidant activity, and cytotoxicity of β-carotene-loaded emulsions. Lipid droplets coated with EWP or with CT-EWP conjugates exhibited quite similar behavior when they were passed through a simulated gastrointestinal tract. The β-carotene encapsulated in emulsions stabilized by CT-EWP conjugates exhibited a higher overall in vitro bioavailability, which was attributed to a greater stability of the carotenoids to chemical transformation. The emulsions stabilized by CT-EWP conjugates also exhibited greater ability in inhibiting oxidation in a cell-based assay (dichlorofluorescein diacetate). Cytotoxicity analysis suggested that β-carotene emulsions stabilized by CT-EWP conjugates only exhibited a slight cytotoxicity when used at high concentrations. These results suggest that CT-EWP conjugates can be used to formulate emulsion-based delivery systems for chemically labile hydrophobic bioactives with enhanced antioxidant activity and bioavailability.