Zinc (Zn) is considered as the second most widespread trace mineral in the body after iron, which is found approximately in 100 enzymes and is present in every living cell. Scientists have recommended daily intake of zinc ranging from 2-3 mg for healthy adults.
Moreover, the world health organization as well as UNICEF recommended Zn supplementation for short duration, including 10-20 mg of Zn per day for infants with age less than six months, for ten to fourteen days in order to treat acute childhood diarrhea. Zinc deficiency causes severe outcomes and can lead towards impaired or severe cognitive function, lower respiratory infections and persistent diarrhea in addition to low birth weight1.
While on the other hand, whey protein isolate (WPI) is also a beneficial commodity that has been recognized as one of the most nutritious as well as valuable milk ingredients. It has the ability to enhancethe general health and combat diseases.
It is reported that nanoparticles having a diameter ranging from 100-300 nm; can be prepared by means of WPI by pH cycling of denatured of WPI solution at low concentration2. In addition, researchers are also using whey proteins carrier for drugs in addition to micronutrients.
These facts urged scientists for performing a new research in order to utilize whey proteins isolate (WPI) nanoparticles for the encapsulation of zinc citrate micronutrients. Moreover, characterization was also done of the prepared nanoparticles3.
For this purpose, research team prepared the nanoparticles WPI with pH cycling and these were then employed for the encapsulation and sustained release of zinc citrate with three ratios of zinc citrate per gram WPI. Afterwards, the particle size of the prepared nanoparticles was characterized and analyzed through transmission electron microscopy. The release of Zinc from the prepared nanoparticles was then performed via simulated gastric fluid3.
During this study, it was found that the WPI nanoparticles are capable to encapsulate zinc competently, with encapsulation effectiveness ranging between 99.79 and 96.31%. Zinc was highly released from the prepared nanoparticles in acidic media (pH 1.2).
Conclusively, WPI can be employed as an effectual vehicle for the protection and sustained release of zinc in food as well as pharmaceutical preparations.
- Gibson, R.S. and E.L. Ferguson, 1998. Nutrition intervention strategies to combat zinc deficiency in developing countries. Res. Rev., 11: 115-131.
- Giroux, H.J., J. Houde and M. Britten, 2010. Preparation of nanoparticles from denatured whey protein by pH-cycling treatment. Food Hydrocolloids, 24: 341-346.
- Tarek Nour Soliman and Mona Abd El Fattah Hassan, 2018. Preparation and Characterization of Sustained Released Zinc Citrate Encapsulated in Whey Protein Nanoparticles. J. Biol. Sci., 21: 448-453.