Optimization of Chitosan Nanoparticles Synthesis and Its Applications in Fatty Acid Absorption
Chitosan, the linear co-polymer of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and glucosamine (GlcN) residues, is linked via ß-1,4-glycosidic bonds. Naturally, chitosan occurs in the cell walls of some fungi, but today’s commercial production is by partial chemical de-acetylation of chitin which is extracted from shrimp shell or squid pen wastes. As the only polycationic biopolymer, chitosan has a number of intriguing physico-chemical properties in aqueous solution such as spontaneous formation of nanoparticles and an ability to form physical hydrogels. The positive charge is also thought to be at least partly responsible for the broad range of biological functionalities reported, such as antimicrobial activities, disease resistance inducing activities in plants, and wound healing and as a fat scavenger activity in humans. A vast array of techniques is available for the preparation of chitosan nanoparticles. In the present study, the ionotropic-gelation method based on an organic acid is used for nanoparticles preparation. Three different organic acids, namely, acetic acid, lactic acid and citric acid, each at a concentration of 3 % were used for nanoparticles preparation. The nanoparticles obtained were in the range of 10–100 nm with a zeta potential value greater than 30 mV. A pilot study was conducted using three formulations of the chitosan nanoparticles for their capacity to sequester ω-3 fatty acid present in the olive oil. The fat absorption was estimated by the derivatizing the free fatty acid in the solution to their corresponding methyl esters and concentration determined using the gas chromatography. The study revealed absorption of 2873 mg ω-3 fatty acid per mg chitosan upon incubation of 24 h with the chitosan nanoparticles. The exact mechanism of this absorption will be studied in future experiments.
KeywordsChitosan nanoparticles Acetic acid Lactic acid Citric acid Fatty acid absorption Gas chromatography
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