Nanotechnology Helps to Increase Thermal Stability of Essential Oils

First Posted: Jun 19, 2013 06:02 PM EDT

Iranian researchers from Tarbiat Modarres University in association with their colleagues from Iran Polymer and Petrochemistry Research Institute succeeded in increasing the stability of oregano oil, as a sample of essential oils, during the processing and conservation.

By using encapsulation method, the researchers caused higher continuous release of oregano, which is very desirable in packaging systems in order to conserve the quality of foodstuff.

Essential oils (EOs) are aromatic and volatile oily liquids that are obtained from plants. Essential oils are rich of bioactive components such as terpenoids and phenolic acids, which have antibacterial and anti-fungi properties.

Dr. Seyed Fakhroddin Hosseini elaborated on the purpose of the research. "Taking into consideration the fact that oregano oil is a volatile compound just like other essential oils and therefore it evaporates or degrades when is posed to temperature, pressure, light, or oxygen during the process of foodstuff, drug formulation, or the preparation of microbial films, the aim of the research team was to modify the stability of this oil during the process and conservation by using nano-encapsulation technology."

According to Dr. Hosseini, the most important application of nanoparticles in the present study was the modification of thermal stability of oregano. Non-encapsulated oregano oil degraded at 196°C while encapsulation process caused the same oil to degrade at 344-358°C. Moreover, a continuous release was observed by using encapsulation method, which is very desirable in packaging systems in order to preserve the quality of the product.

Results of the research have been published on 5 June 2013 in Carbohydrate Polymers, vol. 95, issue 1. For more information about the details of the research, study the full article on pages 50-56 on the same journal.

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