Valorizing okara waste into nutritionally rich polysaccharide/protein-extracts for co-encapsulation of ß-carotene and ferrous sulphate as a potential approach to tackle micronutrient malnutrition
Reference: Journal of Functional Foods (2021) 87: 104749

Colossal amounts of food waste are generated and discarded daily at the expense of financial resources and at a detriment to the environment. One such food waste, okara – a soybean by-product, is valorised in this study by upcycling it into nutritional extracts for micronutrients encapsulation. Micronutrient malnutrition, particularly in the developing world, is a major public health challenge. Herein, okara extracts were obtained through a low-cost extraction process and were subsequently developed as an encapsulant material for micronutrients β-carotene, and ferrous sulphate encapsulation, using zein as an excipient. Spray-drying, as a scalable technique, was employed to produce various formulations which were assessed for release profiles, shelf-life, β-carotene antioxidant activity and cell cytotoxicity. Finally, an optimised dual-micronutrient formulation displayed a sequential releasewith ferrous sulphate releasing in simulated gastric fluid, and β-carotene releasing predominantly in simulated intestinal fluid. This sequential release profile favors the absorption of both the micronutrients and could potentially enhance their bioavailability.

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Published By
Kharel S., Gautam A., Mahotra M., Theniko N. M., Loo J. S. C.