Iranian researchers used interactions between beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) and useful compounds soluble in oil and made possible the combination of these hydrophobic materials in water.
They also made possible the application of these materials in drink production industry to enrich the drinks, and also in medical industries too.
Many of useful compounds such as carotenoids, vitamins dissolved in oil, and most of phenolic compounds are lipophilic. The hydrophobic nature of these materials makes it almost impossible to add them to food and fat-free liquid drinks (specially the transparent types). In this research, four bioactive compounds, including corcomin, vitamin D, folic acid, and beta-carotene were nano-coated by using interactions between beta-lactoglobulin and four anionic polysaccharides such as sodium alginate, acacia gum, carboxymethyl cellulose, and kappa carrageenan.
In this research, the natural properties of beta-lactoglobulin in the transference of nutritive materials were used to create harmless delivery systems at nanometric scale. The created delivery nano-system enables the enrichment of transparent drinks with hydrophobic compounds without the need for emulsifiers.
Results of the research showed that the created delivery systems at nanometric dimensions could be used in the enrichment of acidic transparent drinks with non-soluble bioactive compounds without the need for emulsifiers. This project has applications in drink production industries and in medical industries.
Results of the research have been published in details in August 2013 in Food Hydrocolloids, vol. 32, issue 2, pp. 235-244.