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Issue 3, 2015
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Functional food microstructures for macronutrient release and delivery

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There is a need to understand the role of fat, protein and carbohydrate in human health, and also how foods containing and/or structured using these macronutrients can be designed so that they can have a positive impact on health. This may include a reduction in fat, salt or sugar, the protection and targeted release of micronutrients or active ingredients from/to particular parts of the digestive system, improvement of gastrointestinal health or satiety enhancing properties. Such foods can be designed with various macro- and microstructures that will impact on macronutrient release and delivery. These include simple and double emulsions, the use of Pickering particles and shells, nanoparticles, liposomes, gelled networks, fluid gels and gel particles, foams, self-assembled structures, and encapsulated systems. In order to design foods that deliver these benefits understanding of how these structures behave in the gastrointestinal tract is also required, which should involve utilising both in vitro and in vivo studies. This review aims to draw together research in these areas, by focusing on the current state of the art, but also exciting possibilities for future research and food development.

Graphical abstract: Functional food microstructures for macronutrient release and delivery

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Oct 2014, accepted on 14 Dec 2014 and first published on 02 Jan 2015

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4FO00965G
Citation: Food Funct., 2015,6, 663-678

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    Functional food microstructures for macronutrient release and delivery

    J. E. Norton, Y. Gonzalez Espinosa, R. L. Watson, F. Spyropoulos and I. T. Norton, Food Funct., 2015, 6, 663
    DOI: 10.1039/C4FO00965G

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