DHA is an important nutrient for the development and function of brain, particularly for those in late pregnancy, early childhood, or with cancer or declining cognitive abilities. Given that DHA is highly unsaturated and is vulnerable to oxidation and degradation under acidic conditions, whether the intake of DHA through supplementation can be effectively delivered and absorbed in vivo remains uncertain.


In view of this, the research team led by Dr Wang Yi and Prof. Wong Man-sau of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology innovated a nano-encapsulation technology to protect DHA from oxidation. By utilising Zein, an edible corn protein, as the encapsulation material to mimic milk fat globule membrane, it forms a core-shell structure to protect DHA in fish oil throughout gastric digestion and facilitate DHA absorption in brain, intestine and placenta.


The series of experiments on maternal mice and their offsprings showed promising results of the nano-encapsulation technology in enhancing DHA absorption. The DHA concentration in the duodenum, jejunum and brain of the maternal mice fed with nano-encapsulated fish oil was significantly higher. Details>>