Looking for new encapsulation materials

Most nutraceutical products are intended for their oral administration. However, it remains a challenge as these substances usually present low stability within the gut and poor penetration properties directly related to their physico-chemical characteristics (e.g., molecular weight, MW, hydrophilicity, ionised groups, etc.). Moreover, in some cases they also show disgusting organoleptic characteristics.

To overcome these drawbacks and, then, promote the oral absorption and increase the bioavailability of the bioactive compounds, different strategies have been proposed. Among others, the nanoencapsulation in nanocarriers is a very promising strategy as it allows efficient loading of the nutraceuticals inside the carrier thereby protecting the cargo against degradation and promoting a controlled release, masking the odour and flavour of the active product.

In this context, food proteins such as casein, soya and zein fulfil the criteria for an ideal carrier (non-toxic, biocompatible, GRAS status…) among others such as resistance against digestive enzymes, bioadhesive capacities and hydrophobicity, which makes the preparation of colloidal structures easy.

In this context, the main objective of NanoCaps, a project in collaboration with CNTA and University of Navarra, is the design and development of new types of nanoparticles based on natural source materials.

Two strategies are being apply: on the one hand, the project works on the co-encapsulation, and surface decoration of Nucaps patented particles and, on the other hand, new materials for the encapsulation of bioactive compounds are being investigated.

  • Title: NANOCAPS
  • Identification Number: PT032-033 NanoCaps
  • Implementation period: February 2018-November 2019
  • Partners: Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria (CNTA), Universidad de Navarra (UNAV) y NUCAPS NANOTECHNOLOGY S.L.

This project has been approved by the Government of Navarre in the R&D projects 2018 call and it is co-financed (50%) by the FEDER funds through the Programa Operativo 2014-2020 de Navarra.

This project has received a 50% co-financed grant by the European Regional Development Fund through the Programa Operativo FEDER 2014-2020 de Navarra.