Healthy foods and quality are essential requirements for consumers seeking a healthier life. Thus, the uses of microencapsulation techniques and non-thermal processing of foods are of great value to achieve these demands. An important bioactive is the quercetin. It is a flavonoid which provides benefits to human health due to its capacity of acting as an antioxidant. Liposomes are used as a microencapsulation technique and are extremely important to load the quercetin. The lipid nature of the liposomes is important mainly to increase the solubility in the gastrointestinal tract and increase the bioavailability of quercetin. The high hydrostatic pressure is a non-thermal process, which is considered a new technology in the field of food preservation. This technology offers foods with similar characteristics of fresh products. Thus, the nutrients are very little affected. The objective of this research project is to evaluate the effects of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) as a method of conserving a vegetable paste model system. The model system that will be chosen is the eggplant paste. One of its principal ingredients will be quercetin-loaded lyophilized liposomes. This research project includes the following steps: (i) production of quercetin-loaded liposome dispersions; (ii) freeze drying of quercetin-loaded liposome dispersions; (iii) agglomeration of corn starch enriched with quercetin-loaded lyophilized liposomes (iv) production of the eggplant paste with corn starch enriched with quercetin-loaded lyophilized liposomes (v) determination of the non-thermal processing (HHP) conditions for producing the eggplant paste (vi) evaluation of the physico-chemical, microbiologic and sensory stability of the eggplant paste processed by HHP.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: