|M.Sc Student||Zoya Kaplun|
|Subject||Developing a Continuous Process for Encapsulation of|
Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Starch Complexes
|Department||Department of Biotechnology and Food Engineering||Supervisor||Dr. Shimoni Eyal|
|Full Thesis text|
Recently, the desire for healthier foods gave rise to a category of health-promoting products -- “Functional Foods”. For example, due to their anti-inflammatory properties, Omega-3 fatty acids are suggested as a treatment for various chronic inflammations, such as Crohn’s disease. However, the utilization of Omega-3 in food fortification is limited because of its tendency to oxidize, ensuing off-flavors and reduction in acceptance and shelf life. Encapsulation is a first-rate solution to overcome such instability and allow targeted release at preferred loci in the gastrointestinal tract.
A designed encapsulation delivery system should be compatible with the food matrix, and should not affect the appearance and other properties of the final product. Starch is considered a suitable candidate to serve as matrix of capsules for targeted delivery of bioactive components, due to its abundance and the ability to form inclusion complexes with low molecular weight compounds. This study aimed to develop a formulation and a continuous process for the encapsulation of Omega-3.
The hypothesis was that molecular complexes of Omega-3 and starch can be used as a targeted delivery system and can be incorporated into food products. These complexes can protect the guest from harmful factors and provide a controlled release in the GIT.
We first focused on a development of a formulation and a continuous process for the complexes production. Complexes were produced using several omega-3 sources: Flax seed oil, Ethyl esters and Fish oil. We demonstrated the feasibility of a continuous industrial processing, utilizing a dual feed jet homogenizer for complexation and the spray drying for the drying stage of the complexation.
The resulting complexes were examined by XRD, which confirmed formation of V-type complexes. We measured both the distribution and the mean size of the particles by laser diffraction and SEM imaging. Thermal properties of the complexes were examined by DSC, which also revealed that formed complexes were of type I. The load profile of complexes was examined through extraction methods and GC analysis. The omega-3-starch complexes demonstrated high thermal stability during high temperature treatment (up to 100%). Functionality assessment tests in simulated GIT conditions allowed evaluating the complexes performance as a delivery system. In addition, the complexes demonstrated high shelf-life stability (up to 80%). In the future, the findings and methodologies described in this study could be applied to a commercial production of edible vehicles for an oral delivery of assorted bioactive components.