HIPEs (high internal phase emulsions) have emerged in the food industry as interesting systems mainly because of their particularity of having a high dispersed phase fraction (> 0.74 v/v). This unique property allows the formation of high viscosity emulsified structures that can be applied not only for the reduction of fat content in food products but also for the delivery of bioactive compounds. Nonetheless, since HIPEs are colloidal structures still little explored, there is a fundamental need to evaluate and optimize processes that allow the generation of stable HIPEs. In this vein, the microfluidic technology appears with primordial characteristics allowing the formation of emulsions with low polydispersity under laminar flow conditions. Furthermore, the microfluidic channels can be engineered to produce microphysiological systems, which is intrinsically more cost-effective than the usual in vitro systems. The application of microfluidics can also be considered an attractive approach for the production of microphysiological systems since this technology can more adequately simulate the dynamic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract while permitting the reduction of sample and reagent size. All things considered, the objective of this project is to develop microfluidic systems for both the production of HIPEs and the simulation of conditions similar to those found in the human small intestine. In this last system, the high internal phase emulsions produced within the microchannels will be evaluated and the outcomes will be compared to those obtained during the digestibility performed using the standard digestibility protocol (INFOGEST) to promote the validation of the intestinal digestive microsystem.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: