Structure and functions of oleosomes (oil bodies)

Constantinos V. Nikiforidis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Oleosomes are natural oil droplets, abundant in plants and more specifically in seeds, composing 20–50 wt% of their mass. The structure of oleosomes is the mechanism that seeds developed to safely store energy in the form of triacylglycerols and use it during germination. For this, the phospholipid/protein membrane that covers and protects the triacylglycerols has been wisely developed during evolution to grant them extreme stability against physical and chemical stresses. The remarkable property-performance relationships of oleosomes have generated a lot of interest to incorporate them in oil-in-water emulsions and take advantage of their sophisticated membrane. However, the structure-function relationship of the molecular components in the oleosome membrane is still not well understood and requires more attention in order to take complete advantage of their potential functions. The aim of this review is to give insights into the architecture of the oleosomes and to discuss the exploitation of their properties in advanced and broad applications, from carrying and protecting sensitive molecules to bio-catalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102039
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Emulsions
  • Natural carriers
  • Oil bodies
  • Oil droplets
  • Oleosomes


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