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Electrospinning Advances in Pharmaceuticals Come to Food


With electrospinning becoming cheaper and more advanced each year, this revolutionary technology has found a home in everything from water purification to energy storage, protective clothing to, of course, drug delivery. Despite its many broad applications, one unexpected industry soon may be transformed by electrospinning as well: food.


Interestingly enough, the same properties that make electrospinning such an incredible technology for drug delivery, also lend themselves well to a host of benefits in the food industry. Due to characteristics like electrospinning’s low temperatures, ability to protect fragile compounds, and human safe manufacturing processes, researchers are finding ways to adapt the technology to make food more nutritious, longer-lasting, and more flavorful.


In the case of certain beneficial bioactive ingredients like probiotics, nutraceuticals, and micronutrients, environmental factors can be incredibly detrimental to the effectiveness and integrity of these compounds. With electrospinning, these ingredients can be safely encapsulated in edible proteins and carbohydrates to protect from oxidation, acid, moisture, and more. In addition, because electrospinning doesn’t rely on heat-based manufacturing processes, the bioactive ingredients aren’t damaged in the manufacturing process as opposed to more common techniques like spray drying or melt spinning.


When it comes to stability, electrospinning continues to protect the compounds even after they are ingested. Due to the ability to create a linear degradation profile, electrospun compounds can be formulated to ensure bioavailability is maintained until a certain stage of digestion, such as in the gut. This same degradation profile could also allow vitamin-fortifying ingredients to be added without the addition of unpleasant tastes or smells.

With so many benefits, it at first seems surprising this technology hasn’t already been adopted for years. However, the reason for the sudden spike in interest comes down to recent advances in the electrospinning manufacturing process that have brought down costs and allowed for far greater scalability.


At Hera Health Solutions, we are positioning ourselves to be on the forefront of the new electrospinning revolution as we strive towards advancing drug delivery to better suit the needs of patients.


References:

Ehrmann, Andrea. “Non-Toxic Crosslinking of Electrospun Gelatin Nanofibers for Tissue Engineering and Biomedicine—a Review.” Polymers, vol. 13, no. 12, 2021, p. 1973., https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13121973.


Lim, Loong-Tak, et al. “Electrospinning and Electrospraying Technologies for Food Applications.” Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, 2019, pp. 167–234., https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.afnr.2019.02.005.