Stabilization of food dispersions by enzymes
Food dispersions have become essential vehicles to carry and deliver functional ingredients such as bioactive compounds, flavors, antimicrobials, antioxidants, colors and vitamins. Most of these systems are thermodynamically unstable tending to break down over time. Much research has therefore been carried out to develop methodologies to improve their long-term stability. In this review, we will introduce readers to a new approach that has been developed over the past years to stabilize food dispersions, i.e. by use of various enzymes. First, basic design principles of modern food dispersions including conventional emulsions, multiple emulsions, multilayered emulsions, solid lipid particle suspensions, and liposomes are discussed. Enzymes able to generate intra- and intermolecular crosslinks between proteins and/or polysaccharides will be reviewed and specific reactions catalyzed by, e.g., transglutaminase, laccase, tyrosinase, sulfhydryl oxidase, glucose oxidase, lipoxygenase, polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase, and lysyl oxidase will be highlighted. Finally, potential applications of this enzymatic approach in the food industry will be critically discussed.