Microencapsulation research sets sights on extending nutrition in space

Microencapsulation research sets sights on extending nutrition in space

“When we seemed intently on the challenges surrounding meals in area, the very first thing that turned obvious and a bit startling when contemplating the mission to Mars is that even when we had the rocket, the touchdown and the gear in place, we nonetheless couldn’t go now as a result of we don’t have meals that may get us there and again,”​ stated John Frostad, Ph.D., assistant professor in chemical and organic engineering at UBC.

Dr. Frostad and his workforce are making use of interfacial and meals science experience to increase the two-year shelf lifetime of flaxseed oil to as much as seven years by microencapsulation expertise.

Microencapsulation: A large leap for area diet?

As the human physique can’t produce omega-3s naturally, they should be consumed in meals like fish and flaxseed or usually by dietary dietary supplements to succeed in beneficial each day dosage. The polyunsaturated fat are thought of important to cardiovascular and nervous system well being, and NASA-sponsored research have discovered that omega-3s present in fish oil may also counteract the negative effects​ of spaceflight on bone, muscle and immune operate and doubtlessly radiation.

“For astronauts and others on area missions, the troublesome half is guaranteeing that omega-3 stays contemporary and viable in no matter type—capsules or liquid—it’s saved in,”​ Dr. Frostad defined. “We must create barrier to guard from degradation and make one thing your physique can digest.”

In the Frostad lab, the workforce is exploring embedding omega-3 droplets in quinoa starch that may very well be blended into smoothies. Another contender is microencapsulation inside cellulose nanocrystals to stabilize mixtures of oil and water to be used in emulsions. 


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