ADVANCES IN COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE, vol.307, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Beta-carotene (BC) as an efficient pro-vitamin is effective in improving vision, immune system and cognitive function as well as preventing coronary diseases and cancer. However, besides its poor chemical stability, the high lipophilic nature of BC reduces its dispersibility and consequently bioavailability which limits its applica-tion into food, pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals. Different carriers with vesicular or particulate structures have been studied and utilized for promoting BC solubility, dispersibility, and protection against diverse operational or environmental stresses and also controlling BC release and subsequent bioaccessibility. The current study, therefore reviews different micro/nanocarriers reported on BC encapsulation with special focusing on its bioavailability. Liposomal structures have been successfully used for enhancing BC stability and bioavailability. Besides, emulsion-based carriers including Pickering emulsions, nanoemulsions and microemulsions have been widely evaluated for BC encapsulation and protection. In addition, lipid-based nanoparticles and nanostructural carriers have also been applied successfully for this context. Moreover, gel structures including emulgels, hydrogels and oleogels are studied in some researches. Most of these delivery systems led to higher hydro-solubility and dispersibility of BC which consequently increased its bioavailability; thereupon could promote its application into food, cosmetic and nutraceutical products. However, for remarkable incorporation of BC and other bioactive compounds into edible products, the safety and toxicological aspects of these delivery system especially those designed in nano scale should be addressed in the further researches.