In Vitro Bioaccessibility of Low-Crystallinity Phytosterol Nanoparticles Generated Using Nanoporous Starch Bioaerogels

Ali Ubeyitogullari, Régis Moreau, Devin J. Rose, Ozan N. Ciftci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Abstract: Phytosterols are natural health-promoting bioactive compounds; however, phytosterols have very limited bioavailability due to their crystalline lipophilic structure. With the aim of improving bioaccessibility, low-crystallinity phytosterol nanoparticles were generated by supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) impregnation of phytosterols into nanoporous starch aerogels (NSAs). The in vitro bioaccessibility of the phytosterol nanoparticles (35%) was significantly higher than that of the crude phytosterols (3%) after sequential oral, gastric, and intestinal digestion. The percentages of starch hydrolysis were not different among the various NSA preparations and reached to 64% after sequential digestion. The zeta potential of the phytosterol nanoparticles was higher compared to that of crude phytosterols in the micellar phase; indicating higher stability. The findings of this study support the use of NSA to produce nanoparticles of reduced crystallinity to improve the bioaccessibility of the lipophilic bioactive compounds. Practical Applications: This novel process can decrease the size and crystallinity of phytosterols and thus improve phytosterols’ bioavailability. It is a blueprint to apply to other water insoluble food bioactives. This novel approach may (i) improve the health benefits of water-insoluble bioactives; (ii) enable food manufacturers to add water-insoluble bioactives into low- and high-fat foods to produce health-promoting foods; and (iii) enhance the cost-benefit ratio of water insoluble bioactives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1812-1819
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • aerogel
  • bioaccessibility
  • nanoparticles
  • phytosterol
  • supercritical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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