Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385021

Research Project: Prevention of Obesity Related Metabolic Diseases by Bioactive Components of Food Processing Waste Byproducts and Mitigation of Food Allergies

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Effect of encapsulation on ß-carotene absorption and metabolism in mice

item CHEN, LING - Jiangnan University
item Yokoyama, Wallace - Wally
item ALVES, PRISCILA - Former ARS Employee
item TAN, YUQING - China Agricultural University
item Pan, James
item ZHONG, FANG - Jiangnan University

Submitted to: Food Hydrocolloids
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2021
Publication Date: 7/3/2021
Citation: Chen, L., Yokoyama, W.H., Alves, P., Tan, Y., Pan, J., Zhong, F. 2021. Effect of encapsulation on ß-carotene absorption and metabolism in mice. Food Hydrocolloids. 121. Article 107009.

Interpretive Summary: Beta-carotene is the major source and precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for normal health and growth. Beta-carotene is insoluble in water and extremely limited solubility in oils. Incorporation in nano- and micro-particles and emulsions increase its micellization in the digestive tract and suggests it might be more bioavailable. However, studies of encapsulated beta-carotene in mammals have been limited. In this study beta-carotene in small and large particles were administered to mice and its uptake in blood, intestine, liver and adipose were followed. The study found that there were significant differences in tissue distribution of beta-carotene and its retinoid metabolites due to particle size and presence of lipids in the encapsulation.

Technical Abstract: Encapsulation has been used extensively as a strategy to effectively deliver ß-carotene and other bioactive compounds with low aqueous and lipid solubility to enhance its bioavailability. However, few studies have investigated the effects of particle size and the presence of lipids on the translocation, absorption and metabolism of nutrients in vivo. Mice were orally administered ß-carotene encapsulated by whey protein isolate formulations in nano- and microscale particles, and with or without lipids. ß-Carotene and its metabolized Vitamin A products were quantified in the chyme and tissues of the digestive tract (stomach, intestine, ceum) as well as liver, adipose and blood. Free ß-carotene in oil-dispersion largely remained in the stomach or cecum. Smaller sized emulsions improved the transition and absorption of ß-carotene in the small intestine. Nano-emulsions were more likely to convert ß-carotene into retinol or retinyl palmitate and stored in the liver, while the nanoparticles transported more ß-carotene into the systemic circulation that were stored in adipose tissues. These in vivo results were compared to previous in vitro studies of whey protein isolate in Caco-2 cells and provides a comprehensive understanding about the mechanism of biological activity of nutrients in different carriers in vivo.