Encapsulation of Lemon essential oil (Citrus Limon L.) in Chitosan-Modified starch complex by Sonication

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. Student of Sea Food Processing, Gorgan University of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

2 Associate Prof., Dept., of Sea Food Processing, Gorgan University of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

3 Associate Prof., Dept., of Food science and Technology, Gorgan University of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran


In recent years, much consideration has been paid to use of essential oils and aromatic plants with anti-oxidant and antimicrobial properties in the food and pharmaceutical industries because of increasing in consumers’ tendency in using foods without Chemical preservative. However, the essential oils are volatile compounds, sensitive towards heat and insoluble in water, which limits their application. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the capability of encapsulation technique as a suitable method for protecting essential oil against environmental conditions and assessing the colloidal properties of nanocapsules. For this purpose, identification of active compounds of Citrus Limon L. essential oil was performed using Gas Chromatography (GC). Then, Oil-in-water emulsion with a ratio of 1: 4 Essential oils: coatings with chitosan and modified starch with different ratios (0.5: 9.5, 1: 9 and 1.5: 8.5 % w/v) using freeze drying method was prepared by sonication. The effect of different wall concentrations on the physical and chemical properties of emulsion and nanocapsules were measured. The results showed that increasing in chitosan concentration resulted in higher stability and viscosity of nano-emulsion prepared with 1.5: 8.5% chitosan: Modified starch. Nano-emulsion which coated with higher concentration of chitosan showed smaller droplets and more uniform size distribution than the other treatments. The study of nano-capsule properties determined a significant difference (P≤0.05) based on the different ratios of wall materials on moisture content, encapsulation efficiency and particle size. The morphology of the nanocapsules confirmed that the capsules with higher encapsulation efficiency had smooth surfaces, without gaps and with the least porosity.

Graphical Abstract

Encapsulation of Lemon essential oil (Citrus Limon L.) in Chitosan-Modified starch complex by Sonication


  • Lemon essential oils (LEOs) was encapsulated in Chitosan/Hicap system
  • Mean particle size of the LEOs nanolcapsules were 339.3 to 553.3 nm
  • The mixture of chitosan/Hicap (1.5%: 8.5%) can be recommended for Lemon essential oil encapsulation.
  • Nanoencapsulated LEO can be used in nutraceutical and functional foods


Main Subjects

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