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Folates are a group of vitamins vital for the growth and development of the central nervous system. Most of these natural derivatives of folic acid are prone to oxidation and are very sensitive towards heat, temperature, oxygen, and light. Encapsulation of folic acid within inert matrices of a polymer can improve its stability and stop its degradation by light and oxygen. Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) technology is capable of generating fine droplets ranging from micrometers to nanometers in diameter from the breakup of a jet depending on the flow rate and applied electrical potential difference. The aims of this study were to generate nano-sized particles of folic acid encapsulated in sodium alginate (Na alginate) using EHD technology and to study the effect of voltage and flow rate on particle size as well as the structure of the prepared particles. It was established that 40 mg/ml (Na alginate) concentration can be used in single jet EHD technology. However, only 10 mg/ml concentration furnished stable jetting at any applied voltage and flow rate. So, this concentration was utilized and used to encapsulate higher dosages of folic acid. It was observed that the optimum flow rate for obtaining spherical particles of uniform diameter (4.2 ± 1.2 μm) was 10 μl/min at a voltage of 12 kV. Upon drying, these particles acquired a diameter in the range of 50-200 nm and became less spherical in shape. As the folic acid concentration is increased from 1 to 10 mg/ml, the percentage yield of particles at a constant Na alginate concentration increased by over 10 % and the corresponding encapsulation efficiency doubled. FTIR spectroscopic studies revealed the presence of folic acid within Na alginate matrices and also no characteristic chemical interaction between them. It can be concluded from the above research findings that, at 10 mg/ml Na alginate concentration, 10 μl/min flow rate, and 12 kV voltage, a high amount of folic acid (5 mg/ml) can be encapsulated within Na alginate matrices, with high percentage yield (70 %) and loading capacity (96 %), generating non-spherical dried beads/particles of 90-150 nm in diameter. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Original publication




Journal article


Food and bioprocess technology

Publication Date





1837 - 1846