The aim of this chapter is to describe the use of bioactive compounds with beneficial effects on human health beyond their basic nutritional value. Bioactive compounds like vitamin E, vitamin C, and fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) have an important nutritional contribution and are related to the prevention of certain diseases with global impact such as cancer. However, the addition of vitamins in a food product is not easy: E is destroyed by UV-light, and C is dramatically reduced during heat processes. The use of liposomes as matrices to hold bioactive compounds appears to be a promising solution. Liposomes were made of natural soybean lecithin, which has a great nutritional importance, and more so combined with stearic acid or calcium stearate (CaS). Thus, this stabilize liposomes and contribute to the stability of bioactive compounds and to preserve their activity. The stability of bioactive compounds/liposomes incorporated into aqueous food must be demonstrated in properties such as oxidative tendency, morphology, size, and membrane packaging after heat treatment processes. But to make a product applicable at the commercial level, its texture and mouthfeel arising from the ingestion of drinkable foods are all-important to consumer’s choice and sensory acceptability must not undergo any modification.
Part of the book: Functional Food
Functional foods are those with health benefits but cannot incorporate and protect from oxidation or deterioration, maintaining the bioactive compounds (BC) activity. The liposomes have several advantages for BC encapsulation: ease of obtention, characterization, scaling-up, lipid protection for hydrophilic and lipophilic BC, and best, they are made with natural lipids of alimentary grade. In our studies, liposomes were made of soy phosphatidylcholine (SPC) with Stearic Acid or Calcium Stearate as membrane stabilizer. They encapsulated BC as vitamin E, vitamin C and folic acid (B9). The liposome’s design strategy is that SPC lipid’s components are BC like choline and essential fatty acids. These liposomes preserved and maintain the activity of the thermolabile vitamins C and B9. Like milk and fruit juice, in various food types can incorporate liposomes protecting BC. A series of laboratory studies will be performed to select the most stable liposomal formulations, like characterization, encapsulation efficiency, physicochemical, microbiological, thermal and sensory stability. Liposomes- BC design and development are discussed in the chapter. The food heat treatment and the conditions/storage time are also crucial and must be considered in these studies. Finally, incorporating the BC into a food production line is feasible with an excellent economic prospect until supermarket shelves are reached, like our food product proposal.
Part of the book: Functional Foods