Jul 30, 2002
Nano-encochleation serves up nutrients in pet food
BioDelivery Sciences International, US, has teamed up with a food manufacturer to test whether its Bioral nanotechnology improves the delivery of micronutrient supplements in processed pet food.
Bioral nanotechnology uses phosphatidylserine, a naturally occurring lipid that is obtainable cheaply from soy. Bioral is a "nano-encochleation" technique that encapsulates molecules in layers of phospholipid sheets: the resulting cochleate structure protects its interior from harsh environmental conditions.
The trial will determine whether Bioral can aid the delivery of fragile micronutrients such as antioxidants. Previous attempts to supplement processed foods with antioxidants have found that the additions tend to degrade during manufacturing and storage. Bioral technology may be able to protect antioxidants from such decomposition.
So far, BioDelivery Sciences has focused on using the Bioral delivery system for pharmaceutical and vaccine applications. The company says that it now believes that other more immediate commercial applications of its technology may be possible. If the pet-food trial is successful, BioDelivery Sciences intends to market the technology to the processed food industry.
Nano-encochleation may also aid the delivery of micronutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
About the author
Liz Kalaugher is editor of nanotechweb.org.