An innovative method to encapsulate tea tree oil (TTO) by direct complexation with solid amorphous beta-cyclodextrin (β-CD) was investigated. A β-CD to TTO ratio of 90.5:9.5 (104.9mg TTO/g β-CD) was used in all complexation methods. The encapsulation was performed by direct mixing, and direct mixing was followed by the addition of water (13-17% moisture content, MC) or absolute ethanol (1:1, 1:2, 1:3 and 1:4 TTO:ethanol). The direct mixing method complexed the lowest amount of TTO (60.77mg TTO/g β-CD). Powder recrystallized using 17% MC included 99.63mg of TTO/g β-CD. The addition of ethanol at 1:2 and 1:3 TTO:ethanol ratios resulted in the inclusion of 94.3 and 98.45mg of TTO/g β-CD respectively, which was similar to that of TTO encapsulated in the conventional paste method (95.56mg TTO/g β-CD), suggesting an effective solid encapsulation method. The XRD and DSC results indicated that the amorphous TTO-β-CD complex was crystallized by the addition of water and ethanol.
Keywords: Amorphous β-cyclodextrin powder; Crystallization; Ethanol; Molecular encapsulation; Tea tree oil.
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