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Agro-industrial by-products: extraction of phytochemicals, encapsulation in chitosan-based particles and biological evaluation

Grant number: 23/12989-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Engineering
Principal Investigator:Milena Martelli Tosi
Grantee:Letícia Alves de Carvalho
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:22/03055-0 - Sustainable use of phytochemicals extracted from agro-industrial by-products: encapsulation, biological evaluation and application as food additives, AP.PNGP.PI


The use of by-products obtained after food processing aims to minimize the environmental impact of disposal in addition to taking advantage of their constituents, such as biopolymers and bioactive molecules. Bioactive compounds, especially polyphenols, have high antioxidant capacity and can control multiple molecular events through activation of tumor suppressor genes and inhibition of oncogenes involved in carcinogenesis. However, maintaining functional properties, such as color, antioxidant and antimicrobial capacity, bioavailability and bioactivity, is essential to make theirconsumption or industrial application feasible. Encapsulation processes or carrier of activecompounds have been widely studied. Within, the objectives of this doctoral dissertation will be: (i) produce phytochemical extracts from pineapple, melon, acerola and passion fruit pulp processing by-products in different extraction media (water, acetic acid solution or ethanolic); (ii) encapsulate the phytochemicals in chitosan particles by ionic gelation and/or in chitosan-coated liposomes; (ii) proceed to dry the encapsulated particles by spray dryer or lyophilization and (iii) evaluate thecytotoxicity, carcinogenic effects, in vitro digestibility and effect on liver steatosis of the suspended or dried particles. Quantification of phytochemicals will be performed by spectrophotometry or high-performance liquid chromatography and identification by high resolution mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-QTOF MS). After encapsulation, characterizations will be performed, such as:encapsulation efficiency, size distribution and Zeta potential, transmission or scanning electronmicroscopy, antioxidant and antifungal capacity, cytotoxicity evaluation, carcinogenic effects and in vitro digestibility, effect on non-alcoholic liver steatosis in mice. (AU)

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