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Ionic gelation encapsulation of sesame oil with sodium alginate-nopal mucilage blends: Encapsulation efficiency and oxidative stability


This study provides a new way for preventing the oxidation of sesame oil by ionic gelation method, where SO can be encapsulated in sodium alginate-nopal mucilage hydrogel beads as wall material. The SA-NM hydrogel beads had heterogeneous surface morphologies, where el NM acted as structural support and controlling fractures in the beads after drying process, making the gel matrix more flexible. SA-NM hydrogel beads after the drying process leads to an irregular spherical shape that the SA beads. SA-NM hydrogel beads is characterized by high yield (>83.34%) and encapsulation efficiency (> 75.44%), and limited surface oil (< 6.20%). The greatest effect of protection against oxidation of SO was reached as the proportion of NM increases in the mixtures, due to the strong electrostatic interaction that occurs between the NM and the SA during the ionic gelation process, promoting the formation of a robust complex on the surface of the hydrogel beads. Finally, the ionic gelation method turned out to be a competitive option to encapsulate and protect sesame oil in comparison to most common methods such as spray drying, lyophilization, fluidized bed drying and coacervation. It is an easy to implement technology, does not operate at high or low temperatures that affect the deterioration of the encapsulated agent and does not require pretreatment of the encapsulating agents to be used. However, it does not offer a great diversity of biopolymers as encapsulating agents with respect to those that can be used in other encapsulation technologies. In addition, the particle sizes obtained by ion gelation are significantly larger compared to techniques such as spray drying and complex coacervation, although the size will ultimately depend on the product that needs to be produced and marketed.

Hydrogel beads were formed by ionic gelation between sodium alginate-nopal mucilage (SA-NM) for enhancing the encapsulation efficiency and oxidative stability of sesame oil (SO). SA-NM blends (2% w/v) were used 1:1 and 1:1.5 (w/w) ratios. Ionic gelation was induced by dripping the SO-SA-NM homogenized dispersions with the help of a syringe into CaCl2 (2.5% w/v) solution with continuous stirring. The resulting beads were oven-dried and stored under controlled temperature conditions. The hydrogel beads were evaluated for size and shape, and for SO encapsulation efficiency, oxidative stability, and release kinetics. Results were compared with hydrogel beads made with only SA (2% w/v). The SA beads had a regular spherical shape with a mean size of 2.19 mm, while the SA-NM hydrogels beads had an irregular semi-spherical shape with a significant smaller (2.06-2.10 mm) size. SA-NM hydrogel beads displayed higher encapsulation efficiency (> 75.44%) than SA beads (63.48%), and provided better protection to SO against oxidation during storage than the SA beads and free SO oil. Oxidation kinetics were of zero-order in all cases. The release kinetics of SO was diffusion controlled and was significantly slower for SA-NM than for SA beads. Our results indicate that SA-NM mixtures may be considered as potential additives for food industry applications.

The authors wish to acknowledge the partial financial support of this research to the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México through grant 4738/2019/CIB


Nopal mucilage Sodium alginate Ionic gelation Sesame oil Oxidative stability INGENIERÍA Y TECNOLOGÍA