Water-soluble nanoparticles containing water-insoluble compounds

Dirk Benedict, Astete, Carlos E, Sabliov, Cristina M.

Astete, Carlos E.; Sabliov,Cristina M.
Patent Status: Issued
Issue Date: 7/18/2017
Patent Number: 9,707,185

Nanoparticles with entrapped, nonpolar compounds are disclosed, and a method for their synthesis. The nanoparticles are readily dissolved or dispersed in water. For example, the entrapped nonpolar compounds may include pharmaceutically-active compounds, or natural colorants. The nanoparticles have a nonpolar compound core, an intermediate surfactant layer, and an outer crosslinked polymeric protective layer. In a prototype example, alginic acid nanoparticles were prepared with beta-carotene entrapped in the core, with lecithin as the intermediate surfactant layer. In an alternative embodiment, a layer-by-layer assembly technique may be used to entrap the colorant within nanoparticles.

Colorants are important components of food. Color affects consumer perception of food quality. Synthetic colorants are often used to impart color. Strict regulatory requirements make it difficult to obtain approval for new synthetic colorants. There is an unfilled need for a greater number of natural foods that incorporate natural colorants. A major obstacle is that many natural colorants are insoluble in water.

We have discovered water-soluble or water-dispersible polymeric nanoparticles with entrapped nonpolar compounds that are otherwise insoluble in water, and a method for their synthesis. The novel method may be used to stably encapsulate natural colorants in polymeric nanoparticles as an effective way to improve dispersion in water, and to produce a homogenous color, without altering a food's consistency and taste. For example, beta-carotene may be used to impart a homogeneous yellow-orange color to foods. An additional benefit of natural coloring agents is their antioxidant properties, which have been linked with prevention of several diseases, such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. These beneficial functional properties are maintained by the novel encapsulation method.

11/26/2018 10:46:35 PM
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