Fluid processor helps develop cholesterol-blocking food additives


Process Control

Fluid processing equipment from Microfluidics Corp. is helping University of Massachusetts-Lowell researchers study ways to develop water-soluble plant sterols for use as cholesterol-blocking food additives.

Newton, MA —Fluid processing equipment is playing a key role in an effort to develop water-soluble plant sterols for use as cholesterol-blocking food additives.
University of Massachusetts-Lowell scientists are using Microfluidizer processing equipment from Microfluidics, a wholly owned subsidiary of MFIC Corp ., in the effort. If the research proves successful, food and pharmaceutical companies may be able to use the processors to develop nutraceuticals—nutritionally enhanced foods, beverages, and dietary supplements that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines—to significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. The research is being conducted at the school’s Center for Health and Disease Research by Prof. Robert Nicolosi, director of the center.
“Many nutrients are lipid or‘fat’ soluble,” said Nicolosi. “We are using the high-pressure processor to take lipid soluble nutrients and make them water soluble in a nano-emulsion.” Lipid soluble nutrients are difficult to ingest and absorb, making them less effective than water soluble ones. Tomake nutrients water soluble and keep them from separating from the emulsion, their particle size must be reduced from several thousand nanometers to less than 100 nm. The processing equipment is able to effectively and economically reformulate the compounds so that they are ingestible.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, jkatzel@reedbusiness.

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