Crystals and crystallization in oil-in-water emulsions: implications for emulsion-based delivery systems

Advances in Colloid and Interface Science
David Julian McClements


Many bioactive components intended for oral ingestion (pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals) are hydrophobic molecules with low water-solubilities and high melting points, which poses considerable challenges to the formulation of oral delivery systems. Oil-in-water emulsions are often suitable vehicles for the encapsulation and delivery of this type of bioactive component. The bioactive component is usually dissolved in a carrier lipid phase by either dilution and/or heating prior to homogenization, and then the carrier lipid and water phases are homogenized to form an emulsion consisting of small oil droplets dispersed in water. The successful development of this kind of emulsion-based delivery system depends on a good understanding of the influence of crystals on the formation, stability, and properties of emulsions. This review article addresses the physicochemical phenomena associated with the encapsulation, retention, crystallization, release, and absorption of hydrophobic bioactive components within emulsions. This knowledge will be useful for the rational formulation of effective emulsion-based delivery systems for oral delivery of crystalline hydrophobic bioactive components in the food, health care, and pharmaceutical in...Continue Reading


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