Nutritional value of saffron increased via microencapsulation

News ID: 3576684 -
TEHRAN, Mar. 09 (MNA) – Iranian researchers produced saffron powder with high nutritional value through the nanotechnology of microencapsulation of saffron extract with edible compounds.

Saffron extract contains compounds that provide its medicinal and edible properties. Controlling the release and protection of these compounds through the nanotechnology of microencapsulation with edible compounds will increase their efficiency. Microencapsulation is a process by which solids, liquids or even gases may be enclosed in microscopic particles by formation of thin coatings of wall material around the substances. 

Afshin Faridi Esfanjani, the project director, said “producing multiple nanoemulsions comprised of water and oil is a good method for enclosing hydrophilic food and medicinal compounds.”

“This method, which is the main process for producing nanocapsules, has been evaluated to produce saffron powder with an aim to protect saffron’s useful properties and increase its nutritional value,” he added.

The lack of appropriate packaging and processing of saffron in Iran has lead to a number of problems, including the loss of effective compounds in saffron due to adverse environmental conditions such as light and heating process. Also, the quick release of saffron’s effective compounds in the environmental conditions of the stomach causes the added value and medicinal properties of the saffron extract to decrease.

“By nano microencapsulation of saffron’s effective compounds with multi-layered walls, all these problems are solved and the absorption of these compounds will also increase,” he said.

Since saffron is one of the country’s most important exports, producing powders containing nanoparticles of saffron extract is considered as a new product. These products enjoy high stability in regard to processing conditions and maintain the product’s formulation in storage conditions.

According to Esfanjani, the results of the research can be used in producing pills and capsules containing encapsulated and effective saffron compounds for the pharmaceutical sector. 

 

MS/3576478

 

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