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Capsaicin emulsions: Formulation and characterization

Oleoresin capsicum, the oil extract of chili pepper, is mainly composed of capsaicin. Capsaicin is a hydrophobic volatile compound exhibiting antimicrobial activity against various microorganisms. Capsaicin in the form of an emulsion-based carrier system could be a good alternative to enhance bioavailability and simultaneously to increase the shelf-life of food. In this study, capsaicin emulsions were formulated using three different surfactants (Tween 80, commercial soy lecithin, and sucrose monopalmitate/SMP). Effects of aqueous phase composition, pH, and heating the pre-homogenized dispersion were investigated. For characterization, NMR relaxometry, color, turbidity, and antioxidant activity experiments were conducted. Antimicrobial efficacies of the emulsions were also evaluated against Escherichia coli andStaphylococcus aureus. Mean particle sizes of emulsions with surfactants Tween 80, lecithin, and SMP were found to be 68.30, 582.63, and 50.10nm, respectively. Lecithin-containing emulsions showed the highest antimicrobial activity against S. aureus with 4.60log reduction, whereas the same effect was observed in Tween 80-containing emulsions against E. coli with 3.86 log reduction. Emulsions prepared with SMP showed the highest antioxidant activity with 0.482mg DPPH/L emulsion. The formulated emulsions have the potential to be used in food industry as antimicrobial food grade solutions.