ABSTRACT In this study, linoleic acid (LA) was encapsulated in the presence or absence of quercetin into a dual polymer system of whey protein and kappa-carrageenan using power ultrasound. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and FlowCam imaging technology were used for imaging and size determination of nano-and micro-capsules. Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) was used to determine the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the freeze-dried nanocapsules. In order to examine the effect of water activity (aw) on the release profile of the encapsulated LA, the nanocapsules were equilibrated over saturated salt solution conditions corresponding to the range of aw between 0.333 and 0.769 in evacuated desiccators at room temperature. Gravimetric measurements of the steady state linoleic acid (LA) contents were conducted. The anti-oxidant activity of quercetin and the stability of encapsulated LA toward long term and thermally induced rancidity was investigated. The capsules were in the nanosize regime and 83% of the LA was effectively encapsulated. Furthermore, at aw of 0.764, the highest percentage of LA (74%) was released from the expelling nanocapsules. Quercetin was found to exhibit protective antioxidant effect against time-dependent oxidation and thermally induced rancidity of LA. Water activity values of 0.662 and 0.764 provided ideal humidity and pressure conditions for sustained release of nanoencapsulated LA at room temperature.
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