Towards oxidatively stable emulsions containing iron-loaded liposomes : The key role of phospholipid-to-iron ratio

Cengiz, Alime; Schroën, Karin; Berton-Carabin, Claire


To encapsulate soluble iron, liposomes were prepared using unsaturated phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine from egg yolk), leading to high encapsulation efficiencies (82-99%). The iron concentration affected their oxidative stability: at 0.2 and 1 mM ferrous sulfate, the liposomes were stable, whereas at higher concentrations (10 and 48 mM), phospholipid oxidation was considerably higher. When applied in oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions, emulsions with liposomes containing low iron concentrations were much more stable to lipid oxidation than those added with liposomes containing higher iron concentrations, even though the overall iron concentration was similar (0.1 M). Iron-loaded liposomes thus have an antioxidant effect at high phospholipid-to-iron ratio, but act as pro-oxidants when this ratio is too low, most likely as a result of oxidation of the phospholipids themselves. This non-monotonic effect can be of crucial importance in the design of iron-fortified foods.