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Physicochemical Properties and Cellular Uptake of Astaxanthin-Loaded Emulsions

1,†, 1,†, 1 and 2,3,*
College of Food Science and Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130062, China
Department of Food Science, Northeast Agriculture University, Harbin 150030, China
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Yangchao Luo
Molecules 2019, 24(4), 727;
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
PDF [1233 KB, uploaded 18 February 2019]
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Astaxanthin, a natural pigment carotenoid, is well known for its potential benefits to human health. However, its applications in the food industry are limited, due to its poor water-solubility and chemical instability. Six different emulsifiers were used to prepare astaxanthin-loaded emulsions, including whey protein isolate (WPI), polymerized whey protein (PWP), WPI-lecithin, PWP-lecithin, lecithin, and Tween20. The droplet size, zeta potential, storage stability, cytotoxicity, and astaxanthin uptake by Caco-2 cells were all investigated. The results showed that the droplet size of the emulsions ranged from 194 to 287 nm, depending on the type of emulsifier used. The entrapment efficiency of astaxanthin was as high as 90%. The astaxanthin-loaded emulsions showed good physicochemical stability during storage at 4 °C. The emulsifier type had a significant impact on the degradation rate of astaxanthin (p < 0.05). Cellular uptake of astaxanthin encapsulated into the emulsions was significantly higher than free astaxanthin (p < 0.05). Emulsion stabilized with WPI had the highest cellular uptake of astaxanthin (10.0 ± 0.2%), followed, in order, by that with PWP (8.49 ± 0.1%), WPI-lecithin (5.97 ± 0.1%), PWP-lecithin (5.05 ± 0.1%), lecithin (3.37 ± 0.2%), and Tween 20 (2.1 ± 0.1%). Results indicate that the whey protein-based emulsion has a high potential for improving the cellular uptake of astaxanthin. View Full-Text
Keywords: astaxanthin; whey protein isolate; emulsifier; stability; bioavailability astaxanthin; whey protein isolate; emulsifier; stability; bioavailability

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Shen, X.; Fang, T.; Zheng, J.; Guo, M. Physicochemical Properties and Cellular Uptake of Astaxanthin-Loaded Emulsions. Molecules 2019, 24, 727.

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