Effects of wall materials on the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of microwave-assisted encapsulation of Basella rubra fruit extract
The mature fruits of Basella rubra are a source of naturally occurring betalain pigments. However, the applications of using betalains in food industry are limited due to the stability. To overcome this problem, the use of encapsulation technique is employed. In this study, betalains were extracted from B. rubra fruits and encapsulated with different coating materials, maltodextrin (MD), gum arabic (GA) and a combination of maltodextrin and gum arabic (MD + GA), via microwave-assisted technique. MD encapsulation showed the highest of efficiency yield (60.31 ± 0.51 %). The encapsulation efficiency of all samples ranged from 82.13 ± 1.17 to 85.66 ± 0.20 %. The encapsulation of B. rubra fruit extract with GA showed the highest antioxidant activities, total betalains and total phenolic contents (TPC) (P<0.05). In addition, the lowest value of water activity was observed when using GA as wall material whereas the moisture content and % solubility of all encapsulated samples showed no statistically different (P>0.05). The different wall materials affected the L*, a* and b* values of encapsulated B. rubra fruit extract powder (P<0.05). Thermal study at 90°C demonstrated that using MD or GA as wall material could retain the highest content of betalains in B. rubra fruit extract after 30-min incubation whereas different wall materials had no effect on TPC and antioxidant activity. These findings suggest that GA encapsulation of B. rubra fruit extract through microwave drying showed the highest stability in terms of betalain contents, antioxidant activity and thermal stability. This process can be employed for the development of betalain food colorant from B. rubra fruit.
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