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Indian scientists explore 3D printing tech to enhance the efficacy of nutritional supplements

June 11, 2022
Life sciences

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) are using 3D printing technology to transport resveratrol and curcumin around the human body as they are difficult for the body to absorb.

The researchers have now explored using a 3D printed beeswax-based medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oleogel as a co-delivery carrier for the nutrients.

Resveratrol and curcumin are known as nutraceuticals, a form of dietary supplement claiming to have health benefits.

According to the researchers, the combination of these two compounds is “well-studied and widely considered a synergistic health booster.”

Unfortunately, resveratrol and curcumin have low water solubility and processability makes it difficult to package them into ingestible formulations for human absorption.

Testing samples
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 1.13 times and resveratrol bioaccessibility by 1.2 times compared to a control MCT oil sample.

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 customized structure of consumer preference.

3D printing gains traction in nutrition space
The researchers believe the study is critical to understanding insights into the 3D printing of emulsion templated oleogel as nutraceutical carriers.

Earlier this year, NutritionInsight reported that 3D printing could unlock custom textures, flavors and nutritional content in nutritional foods. Still, cost, capacity and lack of printable ingredients are holding the technology back from taking over the market.

Blendhub also partnered with Essence Food, a specialist in transforming surplus food into functional products using 3D technology.

Last October, Colorcon Ventures invested an undisclosed sum in UK-based Remedy Health, which specializes in 3D printing personalized gummy stacks.

In similar developments, Nourished previously added ADM’s postbiotic to 3D-printed gummies for personalized metabolic support.

Meanwhile, tech-backed personalized nutrition and new delivery formats continue to gain traction in the nutrition arena.

Edited by Elizabeth Green


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