Design of sporopollenin-based functional ingredients for gastrointestinal tract targeted delivery

Pien J.C. Schouten, Diana Soto-Aguilar, Ali Aldalbahi, Tansir Ahamad, Shaykha Alzahly, Vincenzo Fogliano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The design of intelligent delivery systems is becoming popular in the food ingredient sector. The increasing consumer demand for natural ingredients prompted researchers to look for new green solutions and use the goods of nature. Sporopollenin exine capsules (SECs) are obtained from plant pollen by washing out the proteins and genetic material. SECs are empty hollow particles that can be easily filled with hydrophobic and hydrophilic small molecular compounds, but also with proteins, enzymes, and even living probiotic bacteria. The release of compounds from the SECs is regulated by passive diffusion and can be further modulated by coating the SECs with a layer of lipids, proteins, or polysaccharides. SECs can also be functionalized to function as an intelligent delivery system that targets the intestinal mucus or the receptors located on epithelial cell membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100809
JournalCurrent Opinion in Food Science
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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