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Incorporation of beta-carotene loaded liposomes in zein nanofibers produced by electrospinning

Grant number: 12/12245-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Lucimara Gaziola de la Torre
Grantee:Rafael Henrique de Freitas Zômpero
Supervisor: José Maria Lagaron Cabello
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (IATA), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:12/02586-0 - Development and optimization of the ethanol injection method for production of liposomes encapsulating beta-carotene and its applications in the food industry, BP.MS


In the last decades, electrospinning processes has been an efficient and versatile way for the production of fibers in the sub micrometric range. Among the various polymers that can be used, zein has been widely studied due to its film forming characteristics, presenting potential commercial applications in industries such as food, pharmaceuticals and biodegradable plastics. In this context, the Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (IATA, Valencia, Spain) have experience in the production and characterization of nanofibers. Recent works conducted by research group headed by José Maria Lagaron aimed the b-carotene stabilization in zein nanofibers produced by electrospinning (FERNANDEZ, 2009). The obtained results showed the formation of b-carotene clusters along the produced nanofibers, probably due to the high hydrophobicity of this molecule. As an alternative to the presented problem, a previous incorporation of b-carotene molecules in liposomes would promote the stabilization and increase on solubility of this molecule in aqueous systems, promoting more uniformity on the b-carotene distribution along the produced nanofibers. These nanofibers will be characterized using various techniques, revealing properties such as diameter, active homogeneity, morphology and color. In this way, we believe that the international cooperation between IATA-Unicamp will promote an exchange of technologies and allow the development of new materials with new properties. (AU)

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