Nutraceuticals is a term applied to products that range from isolated nutrients, dietary supplements, herbal products, genetically modified foods and many of the processed foods on the market. Nutraceuticals are widely defined as having a physiological benefit or offering a degree of  protection against chronic disease.

As our nations become more aware of the relationship between a healthy diet and disease prevention, those in the food industry are trying to adulterate basic foods with these nutraceuticals and produce healthy multifunctional foods. Because of their poor water solubility the range of foods that can be enhanced in this way is severely limited and producers are looking to other means to add the additional benefits.

Nanostructured Lipid Carriers or NLCs might be the answer. NLCs are made up of partial crystallised lipid nano particles dispersed in an aqueous phase containing emulsifiers.

Many alternatives are available to produce the NLCs with different chemical and physical characteristics,  thus the range of application from pharmaceutical, cosmetic to the food industry is assured.

NLCs have another advantage that can be particularly important within medical applications, whereby you can programme release of a certain period of time or even delay release until a certain time, you can also limit release still further until it reaches a certain location within the body.

The next time you witness that burst of flavour in the meal you are eating, that could be due to the controlled physical state of the core NLC in your food.