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Chelation

Chelation is a process used to increase mineral bioavailability and stability. It is based on a specific reaction between minerals and salts that forms a ring structure where the mineral and the amino acid share the electrons (ligand). Hemoglobin iron and chloro- phyl magnesium are examples of natural chelates.

Albion has fine-tuned Ca, Mg, Mn, Cu, Z, and Fe bisglycinates with low molecular weight that are carried directly through the intestine walls, without having to be dissociated in the stomach (De Wayne, 2012). This simple and effective absorption mechanism is different from that of inorganic minerals that are chelated in larger molecules under the form of proteinated metals or amino-acid complexes. These minerals have to be dissociated in the stomach before being absorbed in the duodenum.

As regards iron bisglycinate chelate, the ring structure, without electric charges, inhibits the fat-soluble vitamins' oxide-reduction reactions, as well as the reactions with other antagonist minerals (e.g., calcium), which makes this chelate more tolerable. Calcium bisglycinate has proven to be more bioavailable than other sources (Heaney, 1990), probably because it isn't inhibited by other minerals that compete with it to reach the absorption sites in the mucosal membrane (Hallberg, 1991). Calcium can also reduce the absorption of other minerals, such as iron; this interaction can be particularly critical in infant formulas, where the use of protected microelements can offer an interesting approach for product development.

Cutting-edge technologies can be used for microencapsulation, agglomeration, and granulation processes. In the production of infant formulas, spray drying is completed by fluid bed drying, followed by an agglomeration phase where the agglomeration fluid becomes the carrier of heat-sensitive components, such as vitamins. Microencapsulation is a technique where a coating agent (starches, dextrines, chitosane, alginates, carra- genanes, gluten, casein) is used to create a shell that contains small solid, liquid, or gaseous parts (core) and protects them from the external environment. The capsules are between 3 and 800 pm.

Over the last few years, many patents have been filed, which proves the importance of this technique for the development of new nutraceutical ingredients. The wowCAPS® (GAT Food Essentials) technology permits the encapsulation of oils, oil suspensions, fat-, or water-soluble vitamins. The CapsuDar® line (LycoRed, Israele) proposes

Table 1.3.1.6 Sensitivity of Vitamins (adapted from DSM).

Vitamin A

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin К

Vitamin C

Thiamin

Riboflavin

Niacin

Vitamin

B6

Vitamin

B12

Pantothenic

acid

Folic acid

Biotin

Light

000

000

00

000

0

00

000

0

00

00

0

00

0

Oxidizing

agents

000

000

00

00

000

0

0

0

0

0

0

000

0

Reducing

agents

0

0

0

0

0

0

00

00

0

000

0

000

0

Heat

00

00

00

0

00

000

0

0

0

0

00

0

0

Humidity

0

0

0

0

00

00

0

0

0

00

00

0

0

Acids

00

00

0

0

00

0

0

0

00

000

000

00

00

Alkalis

0

00

00

000

000

000

000

0

00

000

000

00

00

О Hardly or not sensitive

oo Sensitive

ooo Highly sensitive

microencapsulated vitamin, mineral salts, amino acid, and bioactive compounds that are both water dispersible and resistant to heat treatments, to oxidation and to cross reactions with other ingredients. The same company has developed Lyc-O-mato, a natural tomato extract, rich in lycopene, carotenoids, tocopherols, and phytosterols, approved as novel food ingredients (EFSA, 2008). The request to link Lyc-O-mato intake to the reduction of LDL cholesterol in blood hasn't been accepted so far (EFSA, 2015).

Ocean Nutrition DSM proposes MEG-3®, a natural source of concentrated and encapsulated fish oils according to the patented Powder-loc technology, that uses a double protection wall to guarantee the EPA/DHA omega 3 fatty acid nutritional benefits without the oxidative effects in the product. In the same way, the encapsulation technology is used to protect other lipophilic micronutrients such as lutein, carotenoids, and lycopene (Floraglow®, Optisharp®, Redivivo®, Quali-Carotene®).

Dr. Lohmann coats each salt particle with a protective layer of hydrogenated vegetable oil, so as to separate them from the environment in which they will be placed. They thus produce iron (fumarate, sulphate) salts, copper sulfate, magnesium oxide, and zinc oxide.

AB-fortis® (produced by AB-Biotics), a ferric saccharate capsule covered with calcium salts, is stable at high pressures and high temperature, and thus offers a better iron bioavailability than ferrous sulfate (Contreras, 2014).

Vitamin K2, which the scientific community is studying in depth to understand its benefits for the bones and the circulatory system, is formulated in a microencapsulated form as well, to ensure a high bioavailability. K2VITAL® (Kappa Bioscience AS, Norwegian) is a type of microencapsulated menaquinone-7 with a starch and gums double coating. To enhance its effectiveness on the skeletal system, K2VITAL®DELTA is completed with calcium salts and vitamin D.

Lipofoods produces mineral liposomes (iron, calcium, zinc), phytosterol, and caffeine. The liposomial complex is a hollow microsphere formed by one or more fat layers, with a structure similar to the phospholipid cell. This facilitates the liposome penetration into the cell, through an increased fluidification of the membrane and the ensuing active absorption of the nutrient. Thus, the nutrient passes into the gastric and intestinal environment without interacting with the mucosa and other nutrients, and is then absorbed at enteral level, passing directly into the blood. Minerals are generally micronized (<10 pm) and the liposomial shell is free from lecithins or fatty acids mono and diglycerides. Liposomes are generally used as a tool for lipophilic and hydrophilic molecules. An example of this synergic effect is the formation of vitamin C and liposomial tocopherols: ascorbic acid is encapsulated in the aqueous core of the liposome, and the tocopherols are embodied in the lipidic layer. Thus, the liposome contains both molecules that it can simultaneously release into the same action site (Kirby, 1991).

As we have already pointed out, curcumin is a fat-soluble molecule of unquestioned health properties (anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, brain and heart health); it can be easily incorporated in liposomes. Encapsula NanoSciences has created Curcusome®, a liposome that contains curcumin, quercetin, and piperine. These last two fat-soluble substances can inhibit enzymes (UGT, P450, and sulphotransferase) that inactivate cur- cumin. Curcusome not only enhances curcuma solubility but also inhibits those enzymes that could decrease its biosolubility—the three molecules are released at the same time in the gastrointestinal tract, where they are absorbed and used.

Recent studies have investigated the potential of nanotechnologies in a number of food applications (RIKILT and JRC, 2014) and especially in the development of bioactive compounds in nanocapsules (<100nm). The NutraLease company produces 30 nm micelles (NSSL nano-sized self-assembled liquid) that form a microemulsion containing hollow fatty spheres that can contain hydrophobic nutrients with high stability and solubility. AquaNova produces liquid carriers, called solubilized, that carry active substances through homogenous micelles, changing the water/oil solubility of nutrients. Basf has produced LycoVit® gelatin-based nanoparticles containing synthetic lycopene (Hoppe, 2003).

The milk matrix not only carries microencapsulated bioactive compounds but can also become the carrier of the capsules themselves. Recent studies have highlighted use of hydrolyzed alpha-lactalbumin, treated with transglutaminase, for the production of nanotubules (Mandar, 2012; Graveland Bikker, 2006).

To guarantee the stability of active ingredients, the manufacturing process can also be modified. UHT milk enriched with vitamins and functional compounds is an example where the addition of active ingredients may take place after the heat treatment. The Tetra FlexDos™ system, patented by Tetra Pak, provides sterile solutions of enzymes, vitamins, omega 3, and flavors that can be aseptically dosed after the product's final heat treatment and before aseptic packaging. Thus, the system ensures both stability and the active compounds features, because they don't undergo the heat treatment (Blanke, 2012).

 
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