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Korean J Food Sci Anim Resour. 2016;36(2):267-74. doi: 10.5851/kosfa.2016.36.2.267. Epub 2016 Apr 30.

Physicochemical Characterization and Potential Prebiotic Effect of Whey Protein Isolate/Inulin Nano Complex.

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Department of Animal Bioscience and Institute of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Korea.
Department of Animal Biotechnology and Resource, Sahmyook University, Seoul 01795, Korea.
R&D Center, Edam Co., Ltd, Okcheon 29043, Korea.
Department of Food and Nutrition, Daegu University, Gyeongsan 38453, Korea.


The purposes of this study were to investigate the impacts of concentration levels of whey protein isolate (WPI) and inulin on the formation and physicochemical properties of WPI/inulin nano complexes and to evaluate their potential prebiotic effects. WPI/inulin nano complexes were produced using the internal gelation method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and particle size analyzer were used to assess the morphological and physicochemical characterizations of nano complexes, respectively. The encapsulation efficiency of resveratrol in nano complexes was studied using HPLC while the potential prebiotic effects were investigated by measuring the viability of probiotics. In TEM micrographs, the globular forms of nano complexes in the range of 10 and 100 nm were successfully manufactured. An increase in WPI concentration level from 1 to 3% (w/v) resulted in a significant (p<0.05) decrease in the size of nano complexs while inulin concentration level did not affect the size of nano complexes. The polydispersity index of nano complexes was below 0.3 in all cases while the zeta-potential values in the range of -2 and -12 mV were observed. The encapsulation efficiency of resveratrol was significantly (p<0.05) increased as WPI and inulin concentration levels were increased from 1 to 3% (w/v). During incubation at 37℃ for 24 h, WPI/inulin nano complexes exhibited similar viability of probiotics with free inulin and had significantly (p<0.05) higher viability than negative control. In conclusions, WPI and inulin concentration levels were key factors affecting the physicochemical properties of WPI/inulin nano complexes and had potential prebiotic effect.


inulin; nano complex; prebiotic effect; whey protein isolate (WPI)

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