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In vitro digestibility and bioacessibility of quercetin encapsulated in solid lipid microparticles


The increasing interest of the consumers in food products with functional properties is evident, and the incorporation of compounds with this characteristic in food formulations leads to studies aiming to evaluate their absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Flavonoids have been extensively studied due to their antioxidant properties; however, the incorporation of some of these molecules in food has some problems due to their high level of hydrophobicity. The high hydrophobicity has the drawback of making their solubilization difficult, and also decrease their intestinal absorption, or, in other words, decreasing their bioacessibility. There are systems which are able to increase the absorption of bioactive compounds, as lipid-based encapsulation systems - liposomes, lipid nanoparticles and emulsions, for example. Lipid particles (micro or nano) has been proved to be a viable alternative to encapsulate food functional bioactives, in order to increase their absorption by the intestine, due to their lipid nature. The performance of these particles as delivery systems can be evaluated by simulating the stomach and duodenal conditions using in vitro processes. In this context, the objective of this investigation project is to evaluate the in vitro digestion and availability of quercetin, a hydrophobic flavonoid, encapsulated in lipid microparticles produced with babacu oil and tristearin. Such a study will be carried out a static in vitro digestion apparatus (gastric step in shaker and duodenal step in a pH-stat equipment), in which the following parameters will be evaluiated: lipolysis extension, quercetin micellization, as well as zeta potential, average size and morphology of the particles at the end of each digestion step. (AU)

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