In its global patent filing, the healthcare major said there were already a number of pharmaceutical systems on the market to improve curcuminoid solubility but food-grade options remained sparse.
“The majority of prior art curcuminoid solubility enhancers – for example, self-emulsifying systems – cannot be used in nutritional compositions because one or more components lack regulatory approval in this field.
“…There remains, within the nutritional field, a need to provide curcuminoid formulations which increase the aqueous solubility of the curcuminoid and/or provide optimum bioavailability of the curcuminoid when administered orally,” Abbott Laboratories wrote.
In the patent, it said it had discovered that a balanced blend of curcuminoids, phosphatides and dextrins – all food-grade materials – “significantly increased” the aqueous solubility of the curcuminoid.
“The phosphatide(s) and the dextrin(s) interact synergistically to improve the aqueous solubility of the curcuminoid(s) under like for like dissolution conditions.
“… As a result of this improved aqueous solubility, the bioavailability of the curcuminoid(s) is increased,” it wrote.
Dextrins used alone had “very little effect”, it said, but in combination with phosphatides – known surfactants – they worked.
The optimal blend comprised curcuminoids and phosphatides at an equal inclusion rate – 1-30 wt% by dry weight of the additive – and dextrins at a rate of 40-98 wt%.
Importantly, the dextrins used had to have a dextrose value equivalent from 6 to 33. When used at this value, Abbott Laboratories said “surprisingly” dextrins were “significantly more effective” than other polysaccharides – even those with high dextrose values.
Powder power and pre-mixes
Abbott Laboratories said the composition could be manufactured and used in a number of forms, including ready-to-drink liquids and semi-liquids, solids like bakery products or candy and semi-solids like dough or gelatin, as well as supplements and powders.
In terms of efficacy, it said solid dispersion products were effective because each particle comprised a homogeneous distribution of each component, as opposed to remaining separate particles. But, efficacy was the same or better with dry blends – in powder or granule form – also much easier to work with, it said.
“The fact that the synergistic effect occurs even for dry blends is advantageous because they are easier to manufacture than solid dispersion products. It is thought that upon dissolution of the additive in water, the curcuminoid(s), the phosphatide(s) and the dextrin(s) form a complex, thereby increasing the solubility of the curcuminoid(s),” Abbott Laboratories wrote.
The composition, it said, could also be incorporated as a nutritional pre-mix alongside protein, carbohydrate and fat.
If doing so, it said each component – protein, fat, carb and curcuminoid additive – should equate to no more than 40 wt% by dry weight of the overall blend. Vitamins and minerals could also be added, it said.
Source: WIPO Publication No. WO2017196632
Published: November 16, 2017. Filed: May, 4, 2017.
Title: “Additive for a nutritional composition”
Authors: Abbott Laboratories – AI. Chuah, Q. Lin, D. Pai and C. Zhang