Microencapsulation of highly concentrated polyphenolic compounds from purple corn pericarp by spray-drying with various biomacromolecules

Int J Biol Macromol. 2024 Jun;272(Pt 2):132938. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2024.132938. Epub 2024 Jun 5.


Colored corn pericarp contains unusually high amounts of industrially valuable phytochemicals, such as anthocyanins, flavanols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Polyphenols were extracted in an aqueous solution and spray-dried to produce microencapsulates using four carrier materials, namely, maltodextrin (MD), gum arabic (GA), methylcellulose (MC), and skim milk powder (SMP) at three concentrations (1, 2, and 3 %, respectively). The encapsulates were evaluated for their polyphenolic contents using spectrophotometric techniques and HPLC analyses, and their antioxidant properties were evaluated using four different assays. The physicochemical properties of encapsulates were analyzed by measuring the zeta potential (ZP), particle size distribution, water solubility index (WSI), water absorption index (WAI), and color parameters. Structural and thermal properties were evaluated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), optical profilometry, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analyses. Comparative analysis of structural characteristics, particle size distribution, zeta potential, WSI, WAI, and aw of the samples confirmed the successful formulation of encapsulates. The microencapsulates embedded with 1 % concentrations of MD, MC, GA, or SMP retained polyphenolic compounds and exhibited noteworthy antioxidant properties. The samples encapsulated with GA or MD (1 %) demonstrated superior physicochemical, color, and thermal properties. Comprehensive metabolomic analysis confirmed the presence of 38 phytochemicals in extracts validating the spray-drying process.

Keywords: Anthocyanins; Corn pericarp; Microencapsulation; Polyphenols; Spray-drying.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants* / chemistry
  • Drug Compounding* / methods
  • Gum Arabic / chemistry
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry
  • Particle Size
  • Polyphenols* / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Solubility
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Spray Drying*
  • Zea mays* / chemistry


  • Polyphenols
  • Antioxidants
  • maltodextrin
  • Gum Arabic
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Polysaccharides