The effects of selected nonionic emulsifiers on the physicochemical characteristics of astaxanthin nanodispersions produced by an emulsification/evaporation technique were studied. The emulsifiers used were polysorbates (Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 40, Polysorbate 60 and Polysorbate 80) and sucrose esters of fatty acids (sucrose laurate, palmitate, stearate and oleate). The mean particle diameters of the nanodispersions ranged from 70 nm to 150 nm, depending on the emulsifier used. In the prepared nanodispersions, the astaxanthin particle diameter decreased with increasing emulsifier hydrophilicity and decreasing carbon number of the fatty acid in the emulsifier structure. Astaxanthin nanodispersions with the smallest particle diameters were produced with Polysorbate 20 and sucrose laurate among the polysorbates and the sucrose esters, respectively. We also found that the Polysorbate 80- and sucrose oleate-stabilized nanodispersions had the highest astaxanthin losses (i.e., the lowest astaxanthin contents in the final products) among the nanodispersions. This work demonstrated the importance of emulsifier type in determining the physicochemical characteristics of astaxanthin nano-dispersions.
The emulsification-evaporation method was used to prepare astaxanthin nanodispersions using a three-component emulsifier system composed of Tween 20, sodium caseinate and gum Arabic. Using Response-surface methodology (RSM), we studied the main and interaction effects of the major emulsion components, namely, astaxanthin concentration (0.02-0.38 wt %, x1), emulsifier concentration (0.2-3.8 wt %, x2) and organic phase (dichloromethane) concentration (2-38 wt %, x3) on nanodispersion characteristics. The physicochemical properties considered as response variables were: average particle size (Y1), PDI (Y2) and astaxanthin loss (Y3).
Astaxanthin colloidal particles were produced using solvent-diffusion technique in the presence of different food grade surface active compounds, namely, Polysorbate 20 (PS20), sodium caseinate (SC), gum Arabic (GA) and the optimum combination of them (OPT). Particle size and surface charge characteristics, rheological behaviour, chemical stability, colour, in vitro cellular uptake, in vitro antioxidant activity and residual solvent concentration of prepared colloidal particles were evaluated. The results indicated that in most cases the mixture of surface active compounds lead to production of colloidal particles with more desirable physicochemical and biological properties, as compared to using them individually. The optimum combination of PS20, SC and GA could produce the astaxanthin colloidal particles with small particle size, polydispersity index (PDI), conductivity and higher zeta potential, mobility, cellular uptake, colour intensity and in vitro antioxidant activity. In addition, all prepared astaxanthin colloidal particles had significantly (p<0.05) higher cellular uptake than pure astaxanthin powder.
Nanodispersion systems allow incorporation of lipophilic bioactives, such as astaxanthin (a fat soluble carotenoid) into aqueous systems, which can improve their solubility, bioavailability, and stability, and widen their uses in water-based pharmaceutical and food products. In this study, response surface methodology was used to investigate the influences of homogenization time (0.5-20 minutes) and speed (1,000-9,000 rpm) in the formation of astaxanthin nanodispersions via the solvent-diffusion process. The product was characterized for particle size and astaxanthin concentration using laser diffraction particle size analysis and high performance liquid chromatography, respectively. Relatively high determination coefficients (ranging from 0.896 to 0.969) were obtained for all suggested polynomial regression models. The overall optimal homogenization conditions were determined by multiple response optimization analysis to be 6,000 rpm for 7 minutes. In vitro cellular uptake of astaxanthin from the suggested individual and multiple optimized astaxanthin nanodispersions was also evaluated. The cellular uptake of astaxanthin was found to be considerably increased (by more than five times) as it became incorporated into optimum nanodispersion systems. The lack of a significant difference between predicted and experimental values confirms the suitability of the regression equations connecting the response variables studied to the independent parameters.
The incorporation of lipophilic nutrients, such as astaxanthin (a fat soluble carotenoid) in nanodispersion systems can either increase the water solubility, stability and bioavailability or widen their applications in aqueous food and pharmaceutical formulations. In this research, gelatin and its combinations with sucrose oleate as a small molecular emulsifier, sodium caseinate (SC) as a protein and gum Arabic as a polysaccharide were used as stabilizer systems in the formation of astaxanthin nanodispersions via an emulsification-evaporation process. The results indicated that the addition of SC to gelatin in the stabilizer system could increase the chemical stability of astaxanthin nanodispersions significantly, while using a mixture of gelatin and sucrose oleate as a stabilizer led to production of nanodispersions with the smallest particle size (121.4±8.6 nm). It was also shown that a combination of gelatin and gum Arabic could produce optimal astaxanthin nanodispersions in terms of physical stability (minimum polydispersity index (PDI) and maximum zeta-potential). This study demonstrated that the mixture of surface active compounds showed higher emulsifying and stabilizing functionality compared to using them individually in the preparation of astaxanthin nanodispersions.
A simplex centroid mixture design was used to study the interactions between two chosen solvents, dichloromethane (DCM) and acetone (ACT), as organic-phase components in the formation and physicochemical characterization and cellular uptake of astaxanthin nanodispersions produced using precipitation and condensation processes. Full cubic or quadratic regression models with acceptable determination coefficients were obtained for all of the studied responses. Multiple-response optimization predicted that the organic phase with 38% (w/w) DCM and 62% (w/w) ACT yielded astaxanthin nanodispersions with the minimum particle size (106 nm), polydispersity index (0.191), and total astaxanthin loss (12.7%, w/w) and the maximum cellular uptake (2981 fmol/cell). Astaxanthin cellular uptake from the produced nanodispersions also showed a good correlation with their particle size distributions and astaxanthin trans/cis isomerization ratios. The absence of significant (p > 0.05) differences between the experimental and predicted values of the response variables confirmed the adequacy of the fitted models.