Nanoencapsulation of Enzymes, Bioactive Peptides, and Biological Molecules

Muhammed Yusuf Caglar1, Mehmet Demirci1, Kadir Bayrambas2, Bilal Cakir1 and ibrahim Giilseren1

Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University (IZU), Istanbul, Turkey,

2Tunceli University, Tunceli, Turkey


Throughout history, humanity has utilized natural resources in the pursuit for food and bioactive components for curing poisoning and also treatment of various diseases. The utilization of various bioactive metabolites, especially secondary metabolites are being directly attributed to the promotion of human health which further outlines the necessity to utilize such compounds in novel formulations such as functional foods. In the manufacture of industrial products, there is a clear need to deliver functional/bioactive components, including the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and biomedical industries. These components represent a diverse range of substances, including proteins, enzymes, bioactive lipids, antimicrobials, antioxidants, nucleic acids, and medical drugs (Chen, Remondetto, Subirade, 2006; Chen, Weiss, & Shahidi, 2006; Shefer & Shefer, 2003; Ubbink, 2002; Ubbink & Kruger, 2006). In this chapter, we will primarily focus on the bioactive components and utilization of a variety of nanoencapsulation techniques relevant to these components with different methods.

Due to the advances in modern biological techniques, clinical symptoms of deficiency may be understood as a result of a long-term deficiency of micronutrients. Unfortunately, prior to such symptoms, the inadequate delivery of micronutrients may trigger the development of chronic diseases. At the same time, despite an optimum intake of micronutrients, some individuals still may exhibit a high risk for chronic diseases (Boushey, Beresford, Omenn, & Motulsky, 1995). All these findings highlight the importance of balanced diets and consumption of functional food products.

Nanoencapsulation of Food Bioactive Ingredients. DOI:

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Bioactive compounds consist of essential and nonessential natural compounds (e.g., vitamins or polyphenols), and they represent a small fraction of components in the food chain, but the critical point is that they most certainly were shown to demonstrate biological effect(s) on human health. In some cases, the presence of bioactive substances in food products provide health benefits that is well beyond the caloric value of the corresponding product.

The basis for the increasing interest in bioactive compounds is that knowledge from epidemiologic studies, such as the correlation between the consumption of certain compounds and occurrence risk of chronic diseases, has been increased. While until recently, vitamins and other micronutrients have been recommended only to avoid the classic symptoms of deficiency, current claims and lists of bioactive substances expanded significantly.

Bioactive compounds are expected to generate beneficial effects on human health even at considerably small amounts. The potential bioactivity and effectiveness of a certain bioactive material may be determined based on the monitoring of biomarker molecules in vivo. Incorporation of such compounds into our daily diet possibly decreases the risk of chronic diseases and improves our overall health conditions. For example, antioxidants found in plants are secondary metabolites serving several protective functions to the plants such as repelling insects (i.e., anthocyanins) and shielding against UV radiation, or regulating osmotic pressure, while exhibiting an astringent effect (Sepulveda, Ascacio, Rodriguez-Herrera, Aguilera-Carbo, & Aguilar, 2011; Zarei, Azizi, & Bashiri-Sadr, 2010). Upon their consumption, bioactive effects in the human body proves advantageous such as inhibition of enzymatic and nonenzymatic oxidation reactions, binding of pro-oxidative substances, or scavenging free radicals.

For instance, antioxidants tend to stabilize and protect polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in food products due to their contribution to a few different stabilization mechanisms including reactions with free radicals, chelation of metals, and inhibiting the propagation of lipid oxidation. In the food products, antioxidant may form complexes with different juice components; they may induce a cloudy appearance or formation of a precipitate, especially, when complexed with proteins (Oziyci, Karhan, Tetik, & Turhan, 2013). Based on these findings, generation of bioactive bearing foods have to be carefully executed in order to optimize both sensory and biological quality. Due to the above mentioned advantages, antioxidants are among the most commonly investigated plant or fruit components (Bhandari, 2012; Fischer, Carle, & Kammerer, 2011; Gil et al., 2000; Jurenka, 2008; Viladomiu, Hontecillas, Lu, & Basseganya-Riera, 2013).

In this section, some of the most important types of bioactive compounds that need to be present in a balanced diet will be briefly discussed, along with a discussion of their physicochemical characteristics and the current challenges to their application in functional food formulations.

Among the priorities in the nanoencapsulation technologies, it is possible to mention the prevention of molecular degradation of bioactive compounds based on oxidation, hydrolysis, etc. Protection against the stresses that take place in processing, storage, transportation, and also during digestion are regarded as important. Consequently, potential exploitation of nanoencapsulation system in biomolecules is reviewed.

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