Chitosan-coated alginate microcapsules loaded with galactagogue herbs extract: formulation optimization and characterization

Document Type : Research article


1 student Research Committee, Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology/National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Food Safety Research Center (Salt), Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran.

3 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Food Safety Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

6 Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology/National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

7 Food Safety Research Center (Salt), School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran.

8 Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal Institute of Education of Rio de Janeiro, Maracan˜a, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

9 Student Research Committee, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran


Many herbs and spices have been recommended traditionally as galactagogues and several commercial formulations prepared using herbs. Due to the presence of various compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids, isoflavones and terpenes, bitter and stringent taste is elicited that make the consumption of these herbal preparations unpleasant. Moreover, these compounds are unstable when exposed to environmental conditions. In this regard, different approaches are used for taste masking such as microencapsulation. In the present study, microcapsules containing galactagogue herbs extract were developed through emulsification/external gelation and Box-Behnken design was used to investigate the effects of independent variables (sodium alginate: 1-1.5%, calcium chloride: 0.2-1% and extract concentrations: 1-5%) on encapsulation efficiency (EE%). Following evaluation of the model, the optimum condition of encapsulation process was selected as 1.49% sodium alginate, 0.84 CaCl2 and 1.58% extract with EE% of 77.97%. Microcapsules had an acceptable spherical morphology and the results of Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed the presence of the extract within the microcapsules. The mean diameters of the uncoated and chitosan-coated microcapsules were 52 and 123 μm and encapsulation yield was 50.21 and 69.7%, respectively. The polydispersity index of 0.45 and 0.48 were an indicative of polydisperse nature of the microcapsules. The loss of flavonoids in microcapsules stored at two different temperatures was insignificant. The in vitro release in simulated gastric fluid (SGF; pH 1.2) and simulated intestinal fluid (SIF; pH 7.4) were 48.1% and 80.11%, respectively during 24 h. The prepared extract-loaded microcapsules have potential to be used in matrices with neutral pH.


Main Subjects

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