INDIAN SCENARIO

Indian Scientists using 3D Printing Technology to Improve Nutritional Supplements; Research will help in exploring potential of personalised nutrition

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Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT)
Above: Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT)/Source: IIFPT

Researchers at Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), , are investigating the use of a 3D printed beeswax-based medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oleogel as a resveratrol and curcumin co-delivery carrier. The idea is to use 3D printing technology to improve nutritional supplement efficacy through efficient transport of the nutrients in human body.

This study is critical to understand insights into the 3D printing of emulsion templated oleogel as nutraceutical carriers.

Resveratrol and Curcumin

Resveratrol and curcumin are nutraceuticals (derived from nutrient and pharmaceutical), which are a type of dietary supplement that claims to have health benefits.

Resveratrol is derived from a class of compounds known as polyphenols, which are produced by a variety of plants and are thought to act as antioxidants when consumed.

Curcumin will help in the research on using 3D Printing Technology to Improve Nutritional Supplements
Above: Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by the turmeric plant, which is a member of the ginger family/Source: WholeFoods Magazine

Curcumin, on the other hand, is a bright yellow chemical produced by the turmeric plant, which is a member of the ginger family. Curcumin is used in cosmetics, food colouring, and flavourings, as well as being sold as a herbal supplement for anti-inflammation and wound healing.

According to the researchers, the combination of these two compounds has been extensively researched and is widely regarded as a synergistic health booster. Unfortunately, they have low water solubility and processability, making it difficult to package them into ingestible formulations for human absorption.

3D Printing Technology to Improve Nutritional Supplements

Edible oleogels and structured oils, which are thought to be excellent carrier systems for certain fat-soluble active chemicals, are one potential solution to the compound transport problem.

To create a stable emulsion formulation, the researchers added varying amounts of gelatin and gellan gum to an MCT oleogel and tested the results. They also added potato starch and whey protein to make the beeswax-based carrier gel extrudable, and then 3D printed a set of nutraceutical-dosed samples with it.

It was discovered that increasing the gellan gum content made the emulsion more stable, and it even turned out to be a critical parameter in the 3D printing process. In-vitro experimentation revealed that 3D printed carrier systems improved curcumin bioaccessibility by 1.13x and resveratrol bioaccessibility by 1.2x when compared to a control MCT oil sample.

This research will aid in bringing to light the new potential of 3D printing in the development of customised and personalised nutrition. This study, which is the first of its kind, deals with 3D printing of emulsion-templated oleogel containing curcumin and resveratrol for synergistic benefits in the customised structure of consumer preference.

Detailed information about the study can be found in the paper titled ‘3D printed MCT oleogel as a co-delivery carrier for curcumin and resveratrol’. The paper is authored by M.Kavimughil, M. Maria Leena, J.A.Moses, and C.Anandharamakrishnan.


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