Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that have been reported as having health effects against cancer, inflammation and infections to name a few. The problem is large quantities are needed to elicit these responses when tested in the lab and it is thought most of them are broken down before getting into the body.
Now, researchers from China have developed a way to get them where we want them to go, using microgels of oxidised starch. The microgel protected the anthocyanins when exposed to conditions simulating the upper gastric tract so that they could be released when they reach the intestine to be absorbed into the body.
Food high in anthocyanins include blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and the wonderfruit of yesteryear chokeberry (or Aronia).
The publication is available from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.