N-3 fatty acids (N-3 FA) are polyunsaturated FA related to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Moreover, phytosterols (PS) have been associated to lowering cholesterol levels and may also play an important role in preventing CVD. In this context, Echium seed oil has received attention for its high content of N-3 FA. Given that CVDare leading cause of death worldwide, the development of functional foods by combining N-3FA-rich oils, such as EEchium oil, and PS represent an interesting alternative in terms of CVD prevention. However, due to its high susceptibility to oxidation, supplementation of food products with Echium oil may be a challenge. In this context, emulsion-based systems added of antioxidants constitute an interesting alternative for food manufacturers to incorporate PSand N-3 FA rich oils into food products. On this basis, the use of natural antioxidants, such asphenolic compounds (PC), rather than synthetic ones, have become a strong tendency nowadays. Nonetheless, given the low solubility of phenolic compounds in lipid systems, lipophilization with alkyl chains is pointed out as an efficient manner to enhance solubility ofPC in emulsion systems and increase their antioxidant activity. Thus, the aim of this project isto develop a stable food emulsion containing Echium oil and PS. The study will be divided intotwo steps: rutin, quercetin and sinapic acid will be studied regarding their lipophilization yieldusing different chain lengths and antioxidant activity of the phenolipid formed. Then, the phenolipids exhibiting higher antioxidant activity will be examined for toxicity and applied inemulsions containing Echium oil, and PS The oxidative stability of the emulsions will beevaluated by chemical markers under accelerated oxidation conditions. At the second step, afunctional chocolate milk beverage containing Echium oil and PS will be produced. The functional food will be subjected to oxidative stability tests before and after thermal treatment. Our first hypothesis is that lipophilization improves phenolic compounds antioxidant protection towards emulsions. Confirming this, it will be possible to apply Echium oil, a still underutilized oily seed with valuable lipid composition, and phytosterols, to produce a stable functional beverage, which will contribute to increase the N-3 FA intake by consumers.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: