The study – published in Food Chemistry – reports that complexes of the vanilla flavour compound with cyclodextrin can be made more stable to high temperatures and provide longer shelf lives if they are electrospun into nanofibres. The researchers from Bilkent University, Turkey, produced the “cost-effective” functional nanowebs, containing vanillin-cyclodextrin complexes, using a polyvinyl alcohol nanofibre matrix.
“Encapsulation of vanillin-cyclodextrin inclusion complex in polyvinyl alcohol nanofibre matrix yielded vanillin with enhanced durability and high temperature stability,” said the research team, led by Dr Tamer Uyar of Bilkent.
“Our results should be of interest to food, biomedical, textile and personal care industries, since cyclodextrin inclusion complex functionalised nanowebs may have practical applications depending on the type the functional components used – such as flavours, antimicrobials, antioxidants, drugs, and bioactive agents,” reported the researchers.
Vanillin is widely used as a flavour and fragrance and it is also used as a food preservative due to its antioxidant properties in food industry. However, the research group noted that vanillin has a short shelf-life – because of its volatile nature.
“Therefore, the stabilization of vanillin is very important for its prolonged functionality,” they argued.
Uyar and his colleagues noted that cyclodextrin inclusion complexes are “widely used in the food industry in order to achieve prolonged shelf-life and high temperature stability for volatile or unstable flavours and other food additives.”
They added that such inclusion complexes provide stabilization and protection to the guest molecules from evaporation, degradation and oxidation.
The authors explained that electrospinning has recently received attention as a potential technique for use in foods – since it offers a versatile and cost-effective technique for producing nanofibres and nanowebs that allow large surface-to-volume ratios.
“Electrospinning of nanofibres has also received some interest in functional food and active food packaging, since electrospun nanofibrous matrix having exceptionally high surface area and high encapsulation efficiency, can be effective for the stabilization of active food additives,” they added.
The new research successfully incorporated vanillin-cyclodextrin inclusion complexes into an electrospun nanoweb.
The researchers reported that the vanillin-cycoldextrin complexes were prepared with three type of cycoldextrin (CD) – alpha-CD, beta-CD and gamma-CD – to find out the most favourable CD type for the stabilization of vanillin.
They said the PVA-vanillin-CD nanofibres were successfully electrospun from aqueous mixture of PVA and vanillin-CD, and were found to prolonged shelf-life and offer high temperature stability.
“Our results indicated that vanillin with enhanced durability and high temperature stability was achieved for PVA-vanillin-CD nanowebs due to complexation of vanillin with CD, whereas the PVA nanofibres without CD could not effectively preserve the vanillin,” explained Uyar and his team.
Additionally, they noted that the nanoweb containing gamma-CD was the most effective for the stabilization and slow release of vanillin – “suggesting that the strength of interaction between vanillin and the gamma-CD cavity is stronger when compared to alpha-CD and beta-CD.”
Source: Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.01.040
“Encapsulation of vanillin/cyclodextrin inclusion complex in electrospun polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanowebs: Prolonged shelf-life and high temperature stability of vanillin”
Authors: F. Kayaci, T. Uyar