Chitosan–Whey Protein Isolate Composite Films for Encapsulation and Stabilization of Fish Oil Containing Ultra Pure Omega-3 Fatty Acids



Abstract:  Chitosan (1.5%, w/v)–whey protein isolate (WPI, 5% w/v) composite films were developed for encapsulating and stabilizing fish oil (FO) containing 93.7% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Chitosan–WPI film-forming solutions (FFS) were incorporated with 1.5% or 2% FO (w/v), 2% (w/v) glycerol, Tween 80 (3 times weight of FO), and 0.5% (w/v) oregano or rosemary essential oil (EO), and cast for films at room conditions. Dried films were stored at 2 °C for 30 d for evaluating encapsulation efficiency (EE), lipid stability, and film functionality. Total oil contents in films from FFS incorporating 1.5% or 2% FO were 28.1% to 32.5% and 33.4% to 37.3%, respectively, and free oil contents were 13.5% to 14.7% and 15.5% to 16.3%, respectively. EE, moisture content, and water activity of the films were 47.8% to 66%, 18.7% to 24.9%, and 0.42% to 0.50%, respectively, without significant difference among differently formulated films. Increasing FO concentration from 1.5% to 2% in FFS decreased tensile strength of the films from 0.57–0.73 to 0.34–0.44 MPa, but not the film elongation. Addition of oregano EO in FFS retarded lipid oxidation of the fish oil encapsulated in the films, in which a 43% to 53% reduction in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances value and 39% to 51% reduction in peroxide value were achieved. Chitosan–WPI composite films with incorporation of oregano essential oil could be applied as a simple and economic means for encapsulating and stabilizing fish oil for fortifying omega-3 fatty acids in various applications.