Myofibrillar protein–curcumin nanocomplexes prepared at different ionic strengths to improve oxidative stability of marinated chicken meat products
Abstract A low-cost, convenient and organic solvent-free approach was investigated to nanoencapsulate curcumin (CCM) in myofibrillar proteins (MPs) as a potential strategy to improve the oxidative stability of marinated meat products. The encapsulation was enabled by shifting CCM–MP mixture to pH 12 and then pH 7 at different ionic strengths. Stable CCM–MP nanocomplexes were formed at 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 mol/L NaCl, resulting from the exposure of hydrophobic residues of MPs at alkaline pH to bind with dissolved CCM, which enabled an encapsulation efficiency of about 80% and particle diameters of about 300 nm. DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging tests showed good antioxidant activity of CCM–MP nanocomplexes that enabled the reduction of TBARS and carbonyls values of both raw and cooked chicken meat during refrigerated storage for 12 days. Overall, the stable CCM–MP nanocomplexes show the potential applications to manufacture functional meat products with improved quality.