Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 137–145 | Cite as

Chemical Characterization and Release of Polyphenols from Pecan Nut Shell [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh) C. Koch] in Zein Microparticles for Bioactive Applications

  • Itamara Kureck
  • Priscila de Brito Policarpi
  • Isabela Maia Toaldo
  • Matheus Vinícius de Oliveira Brisola Maciel
  • Marilde T. Bordignon-Luiz
  • Pedro Luiz Manique Barreto
  • Jane Mara Block
Original Paper


The pecan nut [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh) C. Koch] is a natural source of polyphenols with antioxidant properties. In this study, the encapsulation of aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts of pecan nut shell were evaluated for the release of bioactive compounds and antioxidant potential in order to explore food applications using zein as encapsulating agent. The extracts showed high contents of total phenolics, condensed tannins and high antioxidant activity. Concentrations of proanthocyanidins were 9-fold higher in hydroalcoholic extracts. The LC-DAD analysis showed that catechins were the major phenolic compounds in samples, with epigallocatechin levels up to 138.62 mg mL−1. Zein microparticles loaded with aqueous extract released 2.3 times more phenolic compounds than the hydroalcoholic extracts and the DSC thermograms showed that extracts of pecan nut shell remained thermally stable up to 240 °C. The zein microcapsules obtained in this study were efficiently encapsulated and represent an interesting additive due its high antioxidant capacity, physicochemical characteristics and morphology. The use of zein microparticles combined with natural extracts constitute a step forward in the improvement of current technology for delivering phenolic compounds with applications in functional foods and nutraceuticals.


Bioactive compounds Microencapsulation Pecan nut, Phenolic profile, Zein 



Condensed tannins


Differential scanning calorimetry


Generally recognized as safe


Scanning electron microscopy


Total phenolic content



Authors are grateful to Divinut Ind. de Nozes Ltda (Cachoeirado Sul – RS) for providing pecan shells and CAPES for awarding scholarship for Itamara Kureck. Authors thank the students: Cleonice Gonçalves da Rosa, Gislaine Kuminek, Lindomar Lerin, Leno Soares and Glaucia Medeiros for their assistance with analyses. This work was financially supported by CNPq – process number 480407/2013-4.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare none.


  1. 1.
    Angelo AJS, Vercellotti J, Jacks T, Legendre M (1996) Lipid oxidation in foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 36:175–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arouma OI (1998) Free radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidants in human health and disease. J Am Oil Chem Soc 75:199–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Balasundram N, Sundram K, Samman S (2006) Phenolic compounds in plants and agri-industrial by-products: antioxidant activity, occurrence and potential uses. Food Chem 99:191–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Haas ICS, Toaldo IM, De Gois JS, Borges DLG, Petkowicz CLO, Bordignon-Luiz MT (2016) Phytochemicals, monosaccharides and elemental composition of the non-pomace constituent of organic and conventional grape juices (Vitis labrusca L.): effect of drying on the bioactive content. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 71:422–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Prado ACP, Manion B, Seetharaman K, Deschamps FC, Barrera-Arellano D, Block JM (2013) Relationship between antioxidant properties and chemical composition of the oil and the shell of pecan nuts. Ind Crop Prod 45:64–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Munin A, Edwards-Lévy F (2011) Encapsulation of natural polyphenolic compounds: a review. Pharmaceutics 3:793–829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Liu X, Sun W, Wang H, Zhang L, Wang J (2005) Microspheres of corn, zein, for an ivermectin drug delivery system. Biomaterials 26:109–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Parris N, Cooke PH, Hicks KB (2005) Encapsulation of essential oils in zein nanospherical particles. J Agric Food Chem 53:4788–4792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Singleton VL, Rossi JA (1965) Colorimetry of total phenolics with phosphomolybdic–phosphotungstic acid reagents. Am J Enol Vitic 16:144–158Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Villarreal-Lozoya JE, Lombardini L, Cisneros-Zevallos L (2007) Phytochemical constituents and antioxidant capacity of different pecan nut Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch cultivars. Food Chem 102:1241–1249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Re R, Pellegrini N, Proteggente A, Pannala A, Yang M, Rice-Evans C (1999) Antioxidant activity applying an improved ABTS radical cation decolorization assay. Free Radic Biol Med 26:1231–1237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brand-Williams W, Cuvelier AE, Berset C (1995) Use of a free radical method to evaluate antioxidant activity. LWT-Food Sci Technol 28:25–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Porto LCS, da Silva J, Ferraz ADBF, Corrêa DS, dos Santos MS, Porto CDL, Picada JN (2013) Evaluation of acute and subacute toxicity and mutagenic activity of the aqueous extract of pecan shells Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh) K Koch. Food Chem Toxicol 59:579–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Burin VM, Arcari SG, Costa LLF, Bordignon-Luiz MT (2011) Determination of some phenolic compounds in red wine by RP-HPLC: method development and validation. J Chromatogr Sci 49:647–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Quispe-Condori S, Saldaña MDA, Temelli F (2011) Microencapsulation of flax oil with zein using spray and freeze drying. LWT - Food Sci Technol 44:1880–1887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Velasco J, Marmesat S, Dobarganes C, Marquez-Ruiz G (2006) Heterogeneous aspects of lipid oxidation in dried microencapsulated oils. J Agric Food Chem 54:1722–1729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Arcan I, Yemenucioglu A (2006) Incorporating phenolic compounds opens a new perspective to use zein films as flexible bioactive packaging materials. Food Res Int 44:550–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Barbosa Junior V, Ramires EC, Razera IAT, Frollini E (2010) Biobased composites from tannin–phenolic polymers reinforced with coir fibers. Ind Crop Prod 32:305–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Porto LCS, Silva J, Ferraz ABF, Ethur EM, Porto CDL, Marroni NP, Picada JNP (2015) The antidiabetic and antihypercholesterolemic effects of an aqueous extract from pecan shells in wistar rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 70:414–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Singanusong R, Mason RL, D’Arci BR, Nottingham SM (2003) Compositional changes of Australia-grown western schley pecans Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch during maturation. J Agric Food Chem 51:406–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Itamara Kureck
    • 1
  • Priscila de Brito Policarpi
    • 1
  • Isabela Maia Toaldo
    • 1
  • Matheus Vinícius de Oliveira Brisola Maciel
    • 1
  • Marilde T. Bordignon-Luiz
    • 1
  • Pedro Luiz Manique Barreto
    • 1
  • Jane Mara Block
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

Personalised recommendations