Researchers from the University of Murcia reviewed the various properties of cyclodextrin. Cyclodextrin is a cyclic oligosaccharide that can carry biologically active substances in functional foods, improve packaging, and even be used as a nanosensor.
This CyclodextrinThe doughnut-shaped glucose ring has a high encapsulation capacity and has been used in the pharmaceutical industry for a long time, but its role in food science is little known.
However, these molecules are foodNot only can it enhance the aroma components (products used to repel mosquitoes), it can also improve its sensory properties, such as eliminating bad odors or preventing the typical “browning” in apples.
Now, an overview of the research on these molecules led by the professor Jose Manuel Lopez Nicolas Researchers from the Biochemistry and Enzyme Biotechnology team at the University of Murcia (UMU) have been able to compile all the applications of cyclodextrin in food, including foods with this molecular composition that we can find on commercial surfaces.This Review It was published in the magazine Food science and technology trends.
One of its main applications is Functional food, In addition to basic nutritional functions, foods that are also beneficial to consumers’ health, such as calcium-rich foods.
Such products have become an important business. Its global market turnover is nearly 33 billion U.S. dollars, and in Europe, its turnover exceeds 15 billion Euros. Vitamin-rich juices, meat products with bifidus effect, margarine and sterols or prebiotics are examples of such products found in more than 40% of Spanish households.
However, there are two problems with functional foods, one is a business problem, and the other is a scientific problem. On the one hand, most companies use the same types of functional ingredients, so the market is almost saturated with almost the same products. On the other hand, many of the health characteristics they promote have not been scientifically proven.
Biologically active composite carrier
The author emphasizes that in addition to improving the appearance and taste of food, cyclodextrin can also “act as a carrier of biologically active substances, thereby improving the solubility and stability of new compounds belonging to new functional foods,” explains López Nicolás.
Similarly, it emphasizes that the molecule increases the production and extraction of biologically active compounds, “enables the production of a large number of important active ingredients (such as Stephens and betaine) present in various plant sources, and then uses them in functional foods”, The professor added. UMU.
Cyclodextrin not only plays an important role in the product, but also improves food safety. In fact, it can be used Development of new packaging Can make the food in the supermarket more durable.
In addition, highly sensitive chemical analysis methods have been developed. Due to their strong packaging capabilities, they have been used Detection of small amounts of biologically active compounds The ability to improve the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of active ingredients in the presence of cyclodextrins in foods and in functional foods.
Overall, they reveal many characteristics of cyclodextrins, which can provide supermarkets with higher-quality products. “There are some examples of industrial use, but today its application has not been widely expanded. However, more and more companies are asking us about its possible applications in products, and we hope to see its use in the next few years. More real-world examples,” another author explained, Adrian Matencio.
These results are not news to the UMU team. They are well aware of the advantages that this additive may have when it is used more frequently in the market, and they have used these molecules to develop different applications over the years, starting in 2000. Nano sensor Improve the characteristics of certain foods.