This work demonstrated the preparation of protein-stabilized β-carotene nanodispersions using the solvent displacement technique. The emulsifying performance of sodium caseinate (SC), whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and a whey protein hydrolysate (WPH, 18% degree of hydrolysis) was compared in terms of particle size and ζ-potential of the nanodispersions. SC-stabilized nanodispersions exhibited a bimodal particle size distribution: large particles (stabilized by casein micelles) with a mean particle size of 171 nm and small particles (stabilized by casein submicelles) of 13 nm. This was confirmed with transmission electron microscopy analysis. Most of the β-carotene precipitated (87.6%) was stabilized in the small particles. On the other hand, the nanodispersions stabilized by the whey proteins were polydispersed with larger mean particle sizes. The mean particle size of WPC and WPI was 1730 and 201 nm, respectively. The SC-stabilized nanodispersion was expected to be more stable as indicated by its higher absolute ζ-potential value (-31 mV) compared to that of WPC (-15 mV) and WPI (-16 mV). Partially hydrolyzed whey protein possessed improved emulsifying properties as shown by WPH-stabilized samples. It was interesting to note that increasing the SC concentration from 0.05 to 0.5 wt % increased the particle size of β-carotene stabilized by casein micelles, while the reverse was true for those stabilized by SC submicelles. Microfluidization at 100 MPa of SC solution dissociated the casein micelles, resulting in a decrease in mean particle size of the casein micelle-stabilized particles when the SC solution was used to prepare nanodispersions. The results from this work showed that protein-stabilized β-carotene nanodispersions could be prepared using the solvent displacement technique.
- Sodium caseinate
- Solvent displacement