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Functional Food Delivery May Get Easier Thanks To Hydrogel Technology

December 9, 2009: 06:46 PM EST
Hydrogel technology might someday be used to develop gelled functional foods containing bioactive ingredients like vitamins, researchers have found. The liquid or semisolid gels made from soy protein have small empty spaces that absorb water or other liquids. In the gut, the hyrdrogels protect food ingredients, which are then released as the gel biodegrades. Hydrogels can be dried and made into tablets to be used as food supplements. In the lab, soy protein isolate was used to prepare the hydrogel using a cold-gelation process that encapsulated the B vitamin riboflavin. Scientists then simulated gastrointestinal conditions involving digestive enzymes called proteases.
Anne Maltaisa, Gabriel E. Remondetto1, a and Muriel Subirade, "Tabletted soy protein cold-set hydrogels as carriers of nutraceutical substances", Science Direct Online, Food Hydrocolloids, December 09, 2009, © Elsevier Ltd
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