Production, Properties and Swelling of Composite Agar-Pectic Gel Particles in an Artificial Gastroenteric Environment

Elena A. Mikhailova, Anatoly A. Shubakov

International Journal of Biomedicine. 2021;11(4):456-459.
DOI: 10.21103/Article11(4)_OA11
Originally published December 10, 2021


The purpose of the present work was to obtain and study the properties of composite calcium-agar-pectic gel particles (CaAPGPs) obtained from aqueous solutions of agar (AA) and apple pectin (AP), from aqueous solutions of agar (AA) and pectin heracleuman (HS) in the presence of Ca2+ ions (0.34 M). The swelling of the obtained composite CaAPGPs in an artificial gastroenteric environment was also investigated.
Methods and Results: We used commercial AP AU701 (AP, Herbstreith & Fox KG, Germany), HS isolated from the aerial part of the Sosnovskyi hogweed Heracleum sosnowskyi Manden, and food agar (AA). Spherical composite CaAPGPs were obtained from low-methyl esterified AP with a molecular weight of 406 kDa, pectin HS with a molecular weight >300 kDa, and food agar (AA) in the presence of Ca2+ ions (0.34 M) as a cross-linking agent by the method of ionotropic gelation.
It was found that dry CaAPGPs based on AP (Ca-AA-AP) have a diameter of 1.16±0.14-1.23±0.05 mm, which was greater than the diameter of dry CaAPGPs based on HS (Ca-AA-HS) (0.95±0.12-1.16±0.05 mm). The density of dry CaAPGPs based on AP (Ca-AA-AP) with an increase in the concentration of AP in their composition from 1% to 2% increased by 1.7 times – from 0.37±0.07 mg/mm3 to 0.63±0.05 mg/mm3. Dry composite CaAPGPs based on HS (Ca-AA-HS) were denser. With an increase in the HS concentration in their composition from 1% to 2%, the degree of particle density increases by 2.2 – from 0.45±0.03 mg/mm3 to 0.97±0.19 mg/mm3. 
The swelling and degradation of the obtained dry composite CaAPGPs in an artificial gastroenteric environment were studied. It was found that CaAPGPs formed from 1% AP and 2% AA degraded almost immediately in SIF. Whereas, CaAPGPs formed from 2% AP and 1% or 2% AA completely degraded in SCF after 1 hour of incubation in it.
CaAPGPs formed from 1% HS and 2% AA, and particles obtained from 2% HS and 1% AA, remained stable in SIF, and then completely degraded immediately upon entering in SCF. CaAPGPs, consisting of 2% HS and 2% AA, dissolve in SCF after 1 hour of incubation in it.

apple pectin • heracleuman • calcium ions • composite agar-pectic gel particles • artificial gastroenteric environment
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Received October 31, 2021.
Accepted November 12, 2021.
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