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Encapsulation in egg white protein nanoparticles protects anti-oxidant activity of curcumin

Chang, Cuihua, Meikle, Thomas G., Su, Yujie, Wang, Xuting, Dekiwadia, Chaitali, Drummond, Calum J., Conn, Charlotte E., Yang, Yanjun
Food chemistry 2019 v.280 pp. 65-72
antioxidant activity, curcumin, denaturation, egg albumen, encapsulation, ethanol, gels, granules, heat, nanoparticles, pH, particle size, zeta potential
This study investigated the encapsulation of curcumin into egg white protein (EWP) nanoparticles. Processing conditions used to formulate the nanoparticles, including pH and the addition of ethanol, were used to control the unfolding and aggregation behavior of EWP. The curcumin loading capacity of the EWP nanoparticles was found to be strongly linked to the structural transitions of the protein during heat denaturation, and the microscopic properties of the particles such as particle size and zeta-potential. Fibrous particles were formed at lower pH (3.0) and were associated with a higher curcumin loading than the granular particles formed at pH 3.8. Ethanol leads to an increase in β-sheet structure, and the formation of a coarser gel structure during heat denaturation, resulted in an increase in particle diameter. The highest curcumin loading capacities were 11.53 and 9.89 mg/g protein (with a final curcumin concentration of 312.5 μM and 268 μM respectively), at pH 3.0 and 3.8, respectively. Encapsulation in EWP nanoparticles was shown to both effectively slow the degradation ratio as well as protect the antioxidant activity of encapsulated curcumin.