Fabrication and Characterization of Curcumin-Loaded Complex Coacervates Made of Gum Arabic and Whey Protein Nanofibrils
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In this research, gum Arabic (GA) and whey protein nanofibrils (WPN) were employed for the encapsulation of curcumin as a bioactive compound with low water solubility through the complex coacervation method. The optimum conditions for the formation of complex coacervates were found at WPN/GA weight ratio of 1:1 and pH value of 3.0. The resulting complexes showed a high ability for loading of curcumin as a bioactive cargo. Fluorescence spectroscopy showed that the curcumin was loaded in the hydrophobic core of WPN/GA coacervates. The characteristics of curcumin-loaded coacervates were also evaluated by XRD and FT-IR analysis. The curcumin-loaded complex coacervates dispersions showed a shear thinning behavior. They also showed a good surface activity which makes them excellent candidates to fabricate new functional food emulsions and beverages. The results indicated that the antioxidant activity and photo-stability of curcumin were significantly improved by encapsulation into WPN/GA complexes. A sustained-release profile also was investigated for curcumin from WPN/GA complexes in the simulated gastrointestinal conditions. This study suggested that the WPN/GA electrostatic-driven complexes can be used as efficient carriers for curcumin delivery.
KeywordsCurcumin Gum Arabic Whey protein nanofibrils Complex coacervation Bioactive delivery
The support from University of Tehran is gratefully acknowledged.