Chitosan-cellulose nanocrystal microencapsulation to improve encapsulation efficiency and stability of entrapped fruit anthocyanins

Carbohydr Polym. 2017 Feb 10;157:1246-1253. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.11.005. Epub 2016 Nov 5.


For improving stability of fruit anthocyanins (ACN), this study investigated the use of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) as a macroion crosslinking agent to develop blueberry anthocyanin extract (BB)-loaded chitosan (CH)-CNC microcapsules, and compared with CH-sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP) ones. The yield of microcapsules (∼6.9g) and total monomeric anthocyanin recovery (∼94%) were significantly (P<0.05) higher in CH-CNC microcapsules than those (∼0.3g and ∼33%, respectively) in CH-TPP microcapsules. ACN distribution (%) in CH-CNC microcapsules was 61% on the surfaces, 12% bound with the matrix, and 27% in cores, but that in CH-TPP microcapsules was mostly presented on the surfaces (99%). CH-CNC microcapsules were more stable at pH 7.4 buffer by showing less ACN release (%) than that of CH-TPP, but no difference at pH 1.2. CH-CNC and CH-TPP microcapsules showed different structural and morphological properties. This study demonstrated that CNC is a promising crosslinking agent forming stable BB-loaded CH microcapsules.

Keywords: Blueberry anthocyanin; Cellulose nanocrystal; Chitosan; Ionic gelation encapsulation.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / chemistry*
  • Cellulose*
  • Chitosan*
  • Drug Compounding
  • Fruit
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Vaccinium / chemistry


  • Anthocyanins
  • Cellulose
  • Chitosan