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Emulsion-Based Delivery Systems for Tributyrin, a Potential Colon Cancer Preventative Agent
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2009)
  • Yan Li
  • Solene Le Maux
  • Hang Xiao, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • D. Julian McClements, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Tributyrin, a short-chain triglyceride oil used as a food additive, has been reported to be a potential preventive agent against colon cancer. The purpose of this study was to develop tributyrin delivery systems based on food-grade oil-in-water emulsions that could potentially be incorporated into foods. Emulsions containing only tributyrin as the lipid phase were highly unstable to droplet growth due to Ostwald ripening (OR) because of the relatively high water solubility of this low molecular weight triacylglycerol. The stability of the emulsions to OR could be greatly improved by incorporating >or=15-25% corn oil (a food-grade oil with a low water solubility) into the lipid phase. In addition, the tendency for droplet sedimentation to occur was reduced because the density contrast between the lipid and water phases was reduced in the mixed tributyrin/corn oil systems. The potential anticarcinogenic ability of the tributyrin emulsions was demonstrated using a cell culture model. Treatments with emulsions containing tributyrin significantly inhibited the viability of HT29 colon carcinoma cells. These results have important implications for the development and testing of nutraceuticals encapsulated in food-grade delivery systems as anticancer agents.

Publication Date
September 4, 2009
Publisher Statement
DOI: 10.1021/jf901836f
Citation Information
Yan Li, Solene Le Maux, Hang Xiao and D. Julian McClements. "Emulsion-Based Delivery Systems for Tributyrin, a Potential Colon Cancer Preventative Agent" Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Vol. 57 Iss. 19 (2009)
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