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Carbohydrate Biomaterials and Nanotechnology to Enhance Food and Health


<p>The overarching goal of this research program in the next 5 years is to enhance the quality of food and human health through innovative use of carbohydrate-related biomaterials and nanotechnology. Specific objectives will include:
<li>To enhance the protection, stabilization, and utilization of active food ingredients (AFI): A number of AFIs are poorly water-soluble or liable to rapid degradation in food systems. The aim of this work is to design carbohydrate-based nano/micro systems to encapsulate AFIs (e.g., polyphenols, vitamins, antimicrobial peptides, and essential oils) to enhance their stability, release, or bioaccessibility.</li>
<li>To design bio-nanomaterials to improve the solubility of poorly water-soluble active pharmaceutical ingredients (API): Among APIs for newly marketed drugs, 40% are poorly water-soluble. For chemicals in high throughput drug screening, over 80% are poorly water-soluble. To increase the solubility of API may greatly enhance the safety and efficacy profiles of drugs. A number of approaches and excipients have been designed and utilized, however, with limited success. To address this grand challenge, we are designing carbohydrate-based bio-nanomaterials as the next generation of powerful API solubilizers.</li>
<li>To identify novel mutants of cereals for improved carbohydrate quality: At Purdue, there is a large population of cereal grains with potential mutant genotypes. Among those, some may lead to structural and functional change of carbohydrates; in particular starch. The goal of this work is to identify new starches that may display useful functionalities similar to those of chemically modified starches. These new starches would replace chemically modified starch in food and meanwhile offer a "clean label" that is highly desirable by the industry.</li></ol></p>

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Objective-1: To enhance the protection, stabilization, and utilization of active food ingredients:
<li>To protect and effectively release antimicrobial compounds (peptides, essential oil, etc.), carbohydrate particulates are designed through chemical, physical, and enzymatic modifications. These nano/micro-particulates are used to adsorb antimicrobial compounds in various colloidal systems. Two steps will be used to evaluate the delivery efficacy of particulate-compound complexes. First, model culture systems will be used to understand the particulate-compound interactions. Second, real food systems, such as deli meat and fresh-cut produce will be used to evaluate and optimize the efficacy of complexes. Bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, and E. coli 157 will be used to test the efficacy of complexes against food pathogens.</li>
<li>To stabilize soluble and non-soluble food nutrients, such as vitamins and polyphenols, we will design carbohydrate particulates with specific structure and properties. In this objective, carbohydrate particulates will be prepared and used to encapsulate active ingredients. The complexes will be preserved in normal conditions or challenged with excessive stresses. The stability of compounds, that is, the amount of compounds not chemically changed over the storage or stress conditions, will be determined using spectrophotometer, HPLC, or other methods.</li></ol>
Objective-2: To design bio-nanomaterials to improve the solubility of poorly water-soluble active pharmaceutical ingredients (API):
<ol><li>A number of APIs will be selected as drug models for evaluating the efficacy of bio-nanomaterials as solubilizer. These APIs are either poorly water-soluble with high permeability (BCS II) or poorly water-soluble with low permeability (BCS IV) (BCS: Biopharmaceutics Classification System).</li>
<li>To prepare bio-nanomaterials with different functions, carbohydrate polymers will be modified using various approaches. Compared with native carbohydrates, modified carbohydrates are highly active, being able to intensively interact with APIs and increase their solubility. The soluble APIs will be quantified using HPLC or other methods. The in vitro permeability of API enhanced through carbohydrate complexation will be determined using Caco-2 cell monolayer.</li></ol>
Objective-3: To identify novel mutants of cereals for improved carbohydrate quality:
<ol><li>From the germplasm stock at Purdue Agronomy Department, Dr. Weil will provide a collection of seeds (several thousand) for starch analysis using single kernel screening (SKS) procedure. For SKS procedure, a small section of tissue is sliced from a single kernel without damaging the germ. Starch is extracted from the slice for structure analysis. When a unique starch (e.g., from a mutant phenotype) is identified, the corresponding kernel is planted for genotyping and potential breeding program.</li>
<li>To characterize starch structure, starch granules are isolated from kernel tissue and observed under a microscope for their size and shape. The isolated starch is also debranched and then subjected to chain length distribution analysis using HPLC. The data obtained from individual kernels will be compared against a database of starch structure of available plant genotypes.</li></ol></p>

Yao, Yuan
Purdue University
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