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J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb;75(1):R50-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01457.x.

Bioavailability and delivery of nutraceuticals using nanotechnology.

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Dept. of Food Science, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.


Nanotechnology is an enable technology that has the potential to revolutionize agriculture and food systems. Driven by increasing consumer demand for healthy food products, researchers have been applying tools and knowledge in nanotechnology to address the issues relevant to food and nutrition. This concise review is mainly focused on nanoemulsions and polymer micelles-based delivery systems which have shown enhanced oral bioavailability and biological efficacies (that is, antiinflammation, anti-cancer, and so on) of different phytochemicals. Nanoemulsions are a class of extremely small droplets that appear to be transparent or translucent with a bluish coloration. They are usually in the range 50 to 200 nm but much smaller than the range (from 1 to 100 mum) for conventional emulsions. Nanoemulsion preparation, characterization, and bioavailability have been discussed. Curcumin nanoemulsions show 85% inhibition of TPA-induced mouse ear inflammation as well as the inhibition of cyclin D1 expression, while dibenzoylmethane (DBM) nanoemulsion shows about 3-fold increase in oral bioavailability compared to the conventional DBM emulsion. Biopolymer micelles show significantly improved water solubility/dispersibility and in vitro anti-cancer activity of phytochemicals. More research efforts are still needed for the understanding of the potential impacts of nanoencapsulated phytochemicals on the human body and environment to address the public concerns.

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