The oil extracted from the pomegranate seed, a by-product of the juice industry, contains several promoting compounds such as phospholipids, tocopherols, triterpenoids and punicic acid. However, the oil is susceptible to oxidation when in contact to light, oxygen, moisture and heating, making its handling and application to food products difficult. Encapsulation of the bioactive extract can be an alternative to minimize instabilities. Moreover, understanding the digestive behavior of encapsulated compounds is essential to understand and control the release of the oil from the encapsulation system and estimate its bioaccessibility during gastro-intestinal transit. Therefore, the objective of this project is the in vitro digestibility study of pomegranate seed oil encapsulated in oil-in-water emulsions in six matrices: whey protein microgels (WPI), WPI in its natural form and WPI in combination with modified starch (Capsul®) and also these spray dried formulations. The static in vitro digestion INFOGEST method will be used, which simulates gastro-intestinal digestion of food systems considering many factors such as concentrations and types of enzymes and salts, pH and digestion time. For that, lipid analysis will be performed considering total lipid extraction, derivatization of lipid, analysis of fatty acid methyl ester, state of the art microscopy and particle size of the digested samples in the oral, gastric and intestinal phase. The proposed study will produce highly innovative encapsulation vehicles for health-promotion, bioactive compounds that will bring benefits to consumers and society.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: