Date of this Version
The Author(s) 2019
Health-promoting effects of curcumin are well-known; however, curcumin has a very low bioavailability due to its crystalline structure. The main objective of this study was to develop a novel green nanoparticle formation method to generate low-crystallinity curcumin nanoparticles to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin. Nanoporous starch aerogels (NSAs) (surface area of 60 m2/g, pore size of 20 nm, density of 0.11 g/cm3, and porosity of 93%) were employed as a mold to produce curcumin nanoparticles with the help of supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2). The average particle size of the curcumin nanoparticles was 66 nm. Impregnation into NSAs decreased the crystallinity of curcumin and did not create any chemical bonding between curcumin nanoparticles and the NSA matrix. The highest impregnation capacity was 224.2 mg curcumin/g NSA. Curcumin nanoparticles significantly enhanced the bioaccessibility of curcumin by 173-fold when compared to the original curcumin. The concentration of curcumin in the bioaccessible fraction was improved from 0.003 to 0.125 mg/mL by impregnation of curcumin into NSAs (42-fold). This is a novel approach to produce food grade curcumin nanoparticles with reduced crystallinity and maximize the utilization of curcumin due to increased bioaccessibility.