Sometimes, when an individual takes a nutritional supplement, the vitamins it contains are destroyed by acid in the stomach.
Penn State researchers have discovered oil-soluble vitamins encapsulated in a cornstarch pocket can pass through the dangers within the stomach to the small intestine, where the vitamins can be absorbed into the body.
The researchers said that when cornstarch is mixed with fatty acid esters, it creates a barrier that is both hydrophobic and hydrophilic. The balance between these two properties is essential for a good delivery vehicle for the vitamins, the authors said. Additionally, cornstarch can accommodate molecules of various sizes, as opposed to current complexes that can carry only small molecules.
The scientists said that cornstarch is not only an ideal vehicle, but is easily digested, readily available and inexpensive.
In addition to its uses in the pharmaceutical and food industries, cornstarch may also be useful in cosmetics, optic devices and electronic equipment, study authors said.
“We have more work and research to do,” said co-author Gregory Ziegler. “The trick is how can we set this up so we can do it simply.”