Functionalization of Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplement with β-Cyclodextrin Inclusions of Oregano Essential Oil

Shashank Gaur, Emely C Lopez, Ankur Ojha, Juan E Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Intestinal parasitic infection is one of the main causes of acute undernutrition in children. Oral consumption of oregano essential oil (OEO) can reduce intestinal parasitic infections, however, its addition to therapeutic and supplementary foods is hampered by its undesirable flavor. The objective of this study was to develop a functional lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) containing OEO, which is stable, acceptable and provides targeted intestinal delivery of bioactive. β-cyclodextrin (β-CyD) inclusion complexes of OEO (β-CyD-OEO), and carvacrol (β-CyD-CV) (1:1 molar) were prepared using slurry complexation (-20 °C) method and characterized based on encapsulation efficiency, moisture content, morphology, and 2-phase in vitro digestion stability. Carvacrol (CV) content was measured using reverse phase HPLC-UV. LNS containing β-CyD-OEO (27.2 mg encapsulate/20 g LNS) was formulated using Indian staples and ingredients. Discriminatory sensory tests (triangle) were performed with college students (n = 58) and low-income women (n = 25), with young children at home (1 to 6 years), living in Mehsana, India to evaluate differences between LNS with and without bioactive ingredient (β-CyD-OEO only). Moisture of dried complexes ranged 9.1% to 9.7% d.b., whereas water activity 0.35 to 0.412. The complex size and encapsulation efficiency of β-CyD-OEO and β-CyD-CV were 1.5 to 7 μm and 4 to 20 μm, and 86.04 ± 4.48% and 81.39 ± 3.34%, respectively. The bioactive complexes were stable through the gastric and intestinal phases. Bioaccessibility of encapsulated CV ranged 6.0% to 7.7%. Sensory tests revealed no differences (P > 0.05) in color, aroma, and taste between LNS with and without β-CyD-OEO complexes. Functionalization of LNS with β-CyD-OEO is feasible based on in vitro stability and sensory studies. Practical Application: Despite its antiparasitic activities, the addition of oregano essential oil into foods is limited due to its strong flavor and volatility. In this study, we evaluated the encapsulation of oregano essential oil with β-cyclodextrin and its addition into lipid-based nutrition supplements. The results revealed that complex encapsulation efficiency was above 80%. Also, the bioactive complexes were stable under in vitro gastrointestinal conditions. Sensory evaluation of LNS with and without encapsulated essential oil showed no difference in terms of color, aroma, and taste. The functional LNS can both address nutrient insufficiency as well as parasitic infection among malnourished populations in low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1748-1756
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number6
Early online dateMay 17 2018
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • carvacrol
  • cyclodextrin
  • encapsulation
  • in vitro digestion
  • oregano essential oil
  • sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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