Project

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Nanostructured minerals for food and nutrition applications: Enhancing aqueous dispersibility, sensory stability and bioavailability of Fe/Zn nanostructures using biomineralization on proteins

English title Nanostructured minerals for food and nutrition applications: Enhancing aqueous dispersibility, sensory stability and bioavailability of Fe/Zn nanostructures using biomineralization on proteins
Applicant Mezzenga Raffaele
Number 145166
Funding scheme NRP 69 Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production
Research institution Institut für Lebensmittelwissenschaften, Ernährung und Gesundheit ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Health
Start/End 01.11.2013 - 31.03.2017
Approved amount 392'550.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Health
Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences

Keywords (6)

proteins; minerals ; zinc; iron; nutrition; health

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Development of novel iron and zinc food fortificants by combining processed milk proteins and nanostructured minerals. These nanostructured materials may allow targeted delivery of iron and zinc, enhanced bioavailability and/or increased retention
Lay summary

Background:

Deficiencies of iron and zinc affect >2 billion of people in both industrialized and developing countries and cause substantial morbidity and mortality. Children and young women are especially vulnerable to Fe and Zn deficiency due to their higher requirements. Addition of iron and zinc to foods (fortification) can be an effective, sustainable strategy to combat these deficiencies. However, a major limitation is the lack of fortificants that are highly bioavailable, safe, and do not negatively impact food sensory properties. Therefore there is an urgent need to improve nutrition technologies to solve this global nutrition problem.

 

Aim: The aim of this project is to develop nanostructured iron and zinc fortificants with increased bioavailability and processability. Processed milk proteins will be used as support onto which nanoparticles will be attached. The resulting mixed materials of proteins and minerals will be tested for bioavailability and sensory behavior in foods.

 

Significance:

The expected scientific impact is very high: creation of improved ‘next generation’ food fortificants and supplements would have global impact for food, nutrition and health. The project is innovative in its combining nanosized ‘soft’ as well as ‘hard’ materials (nanostructured iron and zinc compounds) for food and nutrition applications, and its modification of nanoscale surfaces for enhanced performance. By controlling biological, physical and chemical processes on a nanoscale, this project will create the basis for new functional materials for human nutrition.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 24.10.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Amyloid fibril systems reduce, stabilize and deliver bioavailable nanosized iron
Shen Yi, Posavec Lidija, Bolisetty Sreenath, Hilty Florentine, Nystrom Gustav, Kohlbrecher Joachim, Hilbe Monika, Rossi Antonella, Baumgartner Jeannine, Zimmermann Michael, Mezzenga Raffaele, Amyloid fibril systems reduce, stabilize and deliver bioavailable nanosized iron, in Nature Nanotechnology, 1.

Abstract

Nutritional deficiencies of iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and calcium (Ca) affect many billions of people in the world. Most children, young women and infants in low-income countries are Fe and/or Zn deficient, due to habitual diet low in bioavailable nutritional macronutrients. These deficiencies are major public health concerns, because directly cause impaired growth, lower work capacity, damage the immune function and cognitive development. These nutritional deficiencies can also cause the fetal death during pregnancy. Fortification of foods and/or supplementation with Fe and Zn can be an effective, sustainable strategy to combat these deficiencies. Nanostructured oxides and phosphates of iron, zinc and calcium show great promise for food and nutrition applications, as nanoparticles of these elements with very high surface area, easily dis-solve in the stomach and release Fe and Zn ions, resulting in marked increases in absorption in animals. Unfortunately, dispersion of these nanoparticles in foods and beverages results challenging due to colloidal aggregation, which severely limits the possible means and technologies of administrating these nutrients. In order to optimize absorption of Fe and Zn from nanoparticle sources, we propose here a new strategy, in which suitable proteins, act as efficient carriers for the nanostructured minerals. The approach proposed is inexpensive and general enough (independent of the specific protein and the mineral considered), to be readily scalable. The complex of proteins and mineral nanoparticles proposed here are stable as water colloidal dispersions, which makes the formulation ideal for being administrated in many processed foods; more importantly, the effect of peptides may boost absorption and bioavailability of the minerals.
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