Microencapsulation is an important tool to protect and improve the release of bioactive compounds and probiotics in the intestine. In this context, encapsulation using cells-based carriers has been promising to deliver phenolic compounds. Among Brazilian fruits, guaraná and jabuticaba stands out by the high levels of phenolic compounds. The infusion of vegetable extracts in live probiotic cells may improve the absorption of phenolic compounds in the gut and the viability of probiotics. However, probiotic cells are very sensitive to the harsh conditions that may be applied during the digestion. Thus, the aims of this project are: (a) Infusion of vegetable extracts in live probiotics cells and study of the viability during storage, (b) Protection of the cells using alginate matrix, (c) Storage stability of encapsulated polyphenols and cells, (d) Release profile of the encapsulated polyphenols and probiotics in simulated gastrointestinal fluids, and (e) In vivo immunomodulatory response of polyphenol infused cells. Encapsulation will be evaluated by confocal and scanning electron microscopies. Chemical stability and release of polyphenols during storage and gastrointestinal digestion will be characterized spectrophotometrically. Morphological changes in cells and alginate matrix during storage and digestion will be analyzed by particle size distribution and imaging. This proposal is innovative because no research evaluated the application of live probiotic cells to infuse vegetable extract containing polyphenols. Besides that, the infusion of vegetable extracts into probiotic cells may enhance the viability of probiotic and decrease the oxidative stress, which may cause the cell death. In addition, few works have investigated the functionality of particles using in vivo models. This project will be conducted at University of California Davis, USA.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: