This work was initiated to prepare protein-stabilized β-carotene nanodispersions using emulsification-evaporation. A pre-mix of the aqueous phase composed of a protein and hexane containing β-carotene was subjected to high-pressure homogenization using a microfluidizer. Hexane in the resulting emulsion was evaporated under reduced pressures, causing crystallization and precipitation of β-carotene inside the droplets and formation of β-carotene nanoparticles. Sodium caseinate (SC) was the most effective emulsifier among selected proteins in preparing the nanodispersion, with a monomodal β-carotene particle-size distribution and a 17-nm mean particle size. The results were confirmed by transmission-electron microscopy analysis. SC-stabilized nanodispersion also had considerably high ζ-potential (-27 mV at pH 7), suggesting that the nanodispersion was stable against particle aggregation. Increasing the SC concentration decreased the mean particle size and improved the polydispersity of the nanodispersions. Nanodispersions prepared with higher β-carotene concentrations and higher organic-phase ratios resulted in larger β-carotene particles. Although increased microfluidization pressure did not decrease particle size, it did improve the polydispersity of the nanodispersions. Repeating the microfluidization process at 140 MPa caused the nanodispersions to become polydisperse, indicating the loss of emulsifying capacity of SC due to protein denaturation.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||JAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2007|