The vegetable oils and extracts known for their beneficial effects should be identified and used in various forms for the development of new healthy products. This study was designed to provide further investigation on new nanocarriers made with hempseed oil or a blend of amaranth and hempseed oils, for a concomitant encapsulation and release of the carotenoids enriched plant extract. The size of plant extract loaded lipid nanocarriers ranging between 109 and 130 nm was found to be less influenced by the different ratios of hempseed and amaranth oils. For all of the synthesized nanocarriers, zeta potential values were negative (−33.4 ÷ −38.1 mV). The scanning calorimetry study has shown that lipid nanocarriers have favorable lattice defects for plant extract encapsulation. Entrapment efficiency results revealed an increase of carotenoids entrapment from 57.6 to 83.5% as the amaranth oil percent has been increased. High ability to scavenge the free oxygenated radicals was distinguished for all free and loaded nanocarriers. The level of antioxidant activity increase was proportional to the extent of vegetable oil and was ranging between 93.4 and 98.1%. The nanocarriers made with amaranth and hempseed oils have shown a more sustained release over time than those prepared with hempseed oil only in association with solid lipids.
Practical applications: The applicability of lipophilic plant extracts enriched in bioactive compounds encounters serious problems in the food and pharmaceutical sector due to poor bioavailability. Using the concept of exploiting natural resources in combination with soft nanotechnology, valuable bioactive vegetable mixtures could be formulated into solid colloidal nanoparticles. The bioavailability and the therapeutic benefit of hempseed and amaranth oils in association with lipophilic plant extract enriched in carotenoids are increased by incorporation into the same nanostructured formulation. These formulations result in unique precursors of health products, particularly for nutraceutical industry. The lipid nanocarriers based on natural compounds offer potential applications as natural, low cost and innovative delivery systems to improve quality and extend shelf-life of food products. The developed vegetable based lipid nanocarriers offer advantages of a minimum carrier cytotoxicity, good storage stability, synergistic effects, antioxidant and sustained release, easy to scale up production.
Lipid nanocarriers made with hempseed and amaranth oils and loaded with carotenoids extract from marigold plant. Influence of vegetable oils on in vitro antioxidant activity of developed lipid nanocarriers.