Development, Characterization, and Stability of O/W Pepper Nanoemulsions Produced by High-Pressure Homogenization
Interest in the utilization of bioactive plant compounds in foods has increased due to their biochemical activities (antioxidant, antimicrobial, etc.), and as alternatives in the reduction of the use of high concentrations of chemical substances. However, some of these additives are hydrophobic, thus being harder to disperse into the food matrix, which is generally water-based. A good alternative is the use of low concentrations of these compounds as nanoemulsions. The objective of the present study was to develop oil-in-water nanoemulsions containing “dedo-de-moça” pepper extract for food applications. Research in the development of these nanoemulsions was carried out using a high-speed homogenizer, followed by a high-pressure homogenizer. The influence of the following parameters was assessed: type and concentration of surfactants, hidrophilic-lipophilic balance, lipid/aqueous phase ratio, surfactant/oil ratio, pepper extract composition in nanoemulsion, and processing conditions. Nanoemulsions were evaluated by environmental (centrifugal and thermal) and storage stabilities, characterized by average droplet size and ζ-potential measurements, color, interfacial tension, atomic force, and cryo-scanning electron microscopy. Those with average droplet size between 132 ± 2.0 and 145 ± 1.0 nm were developed depending on working pressure and number of cycles; ζ-potential was around − 36.71 ± 0.62 mV and the best nanoemulsion was stable to centrifugation and most of the thermal stresses. Droplets were characterized with cryo-scanning electron microscopy as being spherical, homogeneous, and stable, and remained stable when stored at 4 °C and room temperature for over 120 days. The pepper nanoemulsion, developed in the present study, has potential applications in the food industry.
KeywordsColloidal systems Capsicum spp. Emulsion Electron microscopy AFM
The first author gratefully acknowledges the CNPq and CAPES (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Program Science without Boarder) for the “SWE” PhD (Process 236877/2012-1) fellowship, and CAPES for the national PhD fellowship. The last author acknowledges the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Brazil, for the grant (CEPID-FoRC, 2013/07914-8).
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