Development of Wax-Incorporated Emulsion Gel Beads for the Encapsulation and Intragastric Floating Delivery of the Active Antioxidant from Tamarindus indica L

Molecules. 2016 Mar 22;21(3):380. doi: 10.3390/molecules21030380.


In this study, tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) seed extracts with potential antioxidant activity and toxicity to cancer cells were developed as functional foods and nutraceutical ingredients in the form of emulsion gel beads. Three extracts were obtained from ethanol and water: TSCH50, TSCH95 and TSCH. All extracts exhibited high potential for superoxide anion scavenging activity over the IC50 range < 5-11 µg/mL and had no toxic effects on normal cells, however, the water extract (TSCH) was the most effective due to its free radical scavenging activity and toxicity in mitochondrial membranes of cancer cells. Next a study was designed to develop a new formulation for encapsulation and intragastric floating delivery of tamarind seed extract (TSCH) using wax-incorporated emulsion gel beads, which were prepared using a modified ionotropic gelation technique. Tamarind seed extract at 1% (w/w) was used as the active ingredient in all formulations. The effect of the types and amounts of wax on the encapsulation efficiency and percentage of the active release of alginate gel beads was also investigated. The results demonstrated that the incorporation of both waxes into the gel beads had an effect on the percentage of encapsulation efficiency (%) and the percentage of the active ingredient release. Furthermore, the addition of water insoluble waxes (carnauba and bee wax) significantly retarded the release of the active ingredient. The addition of both waxes had a slight effect on drug release behavior. Nevertheless, the increase in incorporated waxes in all formulations could sustain the percentage of active ingredient release. In conclusion, wax-incorporated emulsion gel beads using a modified ionotropic gelation technique could be applied for the intragastric floating delivery and controlled release of functional food and nutraceutical products for their antioxidant and anticancer capacity.

Keywords: antioxidant activity; emulsion gel beads; encapsulation; ionotropic gelation technique; mitochondria toxicity; tamarind seed extract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry
  • Emulsifying Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Emulsifying Agents / chemistry
  • Emulsions
  • Gels / administration & dosage
  • Gels / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Microspheres
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Tamarindus / chemistry*
  • Waxes / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Drug Carriers
  • Emulsifying Agents
  • Emulsions
  • Gels
  • Plant Extracts
  • Waxes