One-Pot Procedure for Recovery of Gallic Acid from Wastewater and Encapsulation within Protein Particles

Himan Nourbakhsh, Ashkan Madadlou, Zahra Emam-djomeh, Yi-cheng Wang, Sundaram Gunasekaran, Mohammad E. Mousavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A whey protein isolate solution was heat-denatured and treated with the enzyme transglutaminase, which cross-linked ≈26% of the amino groups and increased the magnitude of the ζ-potential value. The protein solution was microemulsified, and then the resulting water-in-oil microemulsion was dispersed within a gallic acid-rich model wastewater. Gallic acid extraction by the outlined microemulsion liquid membrane (MLM) from the exterior aqueous phase (wastewater) and accumulation within the internal aqueous nanodroplets induced protein cold-set gelation and resulted in the formation of gallic acid-enveloping nanoparticles. Measurements with a strain-controlled rheometer indicated a progressive increase in the MLM viscosity during gallic acid recovery corresponding to particle formation. The mean hydrodynamic size of the nanoparticles made from the heat-denatured and preheated enzymatically cross-linked proteins was 137 and 122 nm, respectively. The enzymatic cross-linking of whey proteins led to a higher gallic acid recovery yield and increased the glass transition enthalpy and temperature. A similar impact on glass transition indices was observed by the gallic acid-induced nanoparticulation of proteins. Scanning electron microscopy showed the existence of numerous jammed/fused nanoparticles. It was suggested on the basis of the results of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy that the in situ nanoparticulation of proteins shifted the C-N stretching and C-H bending peaks to higher wavenumbers. X-ray diffraction results proposed a decreased β-sheet content for proteins because of the acid-induced particulation. The nanoparticles made from the enzymatically cross-linked protein were more stable against the in vitro gastrointestinal digestion and retained almost 19% of the entrapped gallic acid after 300 min sequential gastric and intestinal digestions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1575-1582
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 24 2016


  • FTIR
  • X-ray diffraction
  • digestion
  • in vitro gastrointestinal digestibility
  • morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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