Development and analytical characterization of vitamin(s)-loaded chitosan nanoparticles for potential food packaging applications

  • Antonella ArestaEmail author
  • Cosima Damiana Calvano
  • Adriana Trapani
  • Saverio Cellamare
  • Carlo Giorgio Zambonin
  • Elvira De Giglio
Research Paper


Most vitamins are well-known natural antioxidant agents which can be usefully employed for foods preservation to increase their shelf life. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the potential of vitamin-based chitosan nanoparticles (CSNPs) for novel food packaging application. In particular, Vitamin C- and/or E-loaded CSNPs were formulated following the ionic gelation technique and using sulfobutylether-β-cyclodextrin as cross-linking agent. The obtained CSNPs were characterized in terms of size and zeta potential measurements, leading to size range of 375–503 nm and zeta range values from +16.0 to +33.8 mV. At the solid-state, the same particles were subjected to X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Then, the antioxidant potential of the produced vitamin(s) nanoparticulate formulations has been evaluated through 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl test, a rapid spectrophotometric assay. The standardized procedure was used on vitamin(s)-modified CSNPs systems to determine both the amount of active vitamin(s) loaded in CSNPs and their release performances by in vitro release studies. Of all, high vitamins association efficiency along with an improvement of their shelf life (also under light exposure up to 7 days) were achieved. Altogether, the results suggest that Vitamin E is available in a hydrophilic delivery system able to replace organic solvents usually used for the solubilization of this antioxidant agent. In conclusion, these nanocarriers represent a promising strategy for the co-administration of Vitamin E and Vitamin C in packaging materials intended for a better storage of hydrophilic and/or lipophilic food.


Food shelf-life Vitamins Chitosan nanoparticles XPS Antioxidant activity 



This project was financed by Università degli Studi di Bari (Progetti di Ateneo 2010). We thank Dr. Marycarmen Barnaba for her help in nanoparticle formulation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Aresta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cosima Damiana Calvano
    • 1
  • Adriana Trapani
    • 2
  • Saverio Cellamare
    • 2
  • Carlo Giorgio Zambonin
    • 1
  • Elvira De Giglio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy-Drug SciencesUniversity of BariBariItaly

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