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Study of the production of bioactive peptides containing selenium and nanostructured liposomes from Brazil nut cake

Grant number: 23/15503-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal Investigator:Adriane Maria Ferreira Milagres
Grantee:Larissa de Souza Kawanisi
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil


The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a fruit that is highly prevalent in the Amazon region and contains high amounts of selenium, a micronutrient with beneficial properties for human health. The Brazil nut cake is a byproduct generated during the industrial processing of the nut, and currently has limited utilization and added value. However, the cake is rich in carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, with the protein fraction being of interest for the extraction of bioactive peptides containing selenium. The process of obtaining bioactive peptides involves crushing the cake, followed by lipid extraction and an alkaline treatment and isoelectric precipitation for protein separation. Subsequently, enzymatic hydrolysis of the protein will be conducted using different enzyme load, pH, and temperature conditions. The peptides will be separated using size exclusion and ion exchange chromatography, and their physicochemical characteristics and selenium content will be analyzed. On the other hand, the lipid portion of the cake will be utilized in the development of liposomes, with the addition of a phosphate buffer under specific proportions and conditions. Thus, the research project aims to utilize the Brazil nut cake for extraction and development of compounds of pharmaceutical and food interest, contributing to the reutilization of this byproduct and adding value to the Brazil nut production chain.

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