Design of nanostructured systems to protect and release natural compounds with functional and technological activity



Research group


157,300 Euros

Funding body

National Research Plan (MINECO, Spain)

Type of action

Project reference


Nowadays, the new consumer demands are driving food industry interest towards the replacement of synthetic dyes by natural pigments or extracts with functional properties. The use of nanostructured systems such as plane, multilayer and double nanoemulsions may be a feasible strategy to protect, improve the transport and increase the stability of the active substances in these systems, as well as in the food matrices in which these are contained. Furthermore, the release of key compounds could be controlled during the digestive process, thus improving their bioaccessibility and bioavailability. With this precedent, the hypothesis of this project is that incorporating natural active substances with coloring properties through nanostructured systems could represent an appropriate way to ensure the functionality of foods while improving their technological properties. Thus, the main objective of the project is to develop stable nanostructured systems where the active substances of plant origin are protected, interaction with other compounds is restricted and they can be successfully released to improve their bioavailability. The formulation and development of nanostructured systems in order to be stable under typical environmental conditions and remain accessible in the intestinal tract will be optimized. In vitro bioaccessibility and in vivo bioaccessibility of the active substances contained in these systems will be determined. Subsequently, the nanostructured systems will be incorporated to liquid food matrices as a strategy to improve their quality and functionality. The changes in stability, physicochemical parameters and retention of active substances in foods over storage will be evaluated. The confirmation of the starting hypothesis will set the basis for the development of liquid drinks that incorporate active ingredients with technological and functional properties.