The properties of liposomes produced from milk fat globule membrane material using different techniques

Abby K Thompson, Mohammad Reza Mozafari, Harjinder Singh

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39 Citations (Scopus)


The isolation of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) material from buttermilk on a commercial scale has provided a new ingredient rich in phospholipids and sphingolipids. In the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, highly purified phospholipids extracted from soya oil or egg yolk are used to produce liposomes. Liposomes are spherical structures consisting of one or more phospholipid bilayers enclosing an aqueous core. They may be used for the entrapment and controlled release of drugs or nutraceuticals, as model membranes or cells, and even for specialist techniques such as gene delivery. There are many potential applications for liposomes in the food industry, ranging from the protection of sensitive ingredients to increasing the efficacy of food additives. Our previous work compared the structure and properties of liposomes prepared from a milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) fraction and soya phospholipid material using a high-pressure homogenizer (Microfluidizer). These results identified some potential advantages in the use of MFGM phospholipids for the manufacture of liposomes for use in food systems. This paper compared the general structure and properties of liposomes prepared from the same MFGM phospholipid material using three different techniques - microfluidization, the traditional thin-film hydration and the heating method. The thin-film hydration technique required the use of organic solvents, while the other two methods do not involve any non food-safe chemicals. The liposomes prepared by both microfluidization and the heating method had high entrapment efficiencies. Liposomes produced via microfluidization tended to be significantly smaller than those produced by the other methods, with a narrower size distribution, and a higher proportion of unilamellar vesicles. There did not seem to be any advantages in the use of the thin-film hydration method, opening the door to the use of food-safe methods for liposome production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349 - 360
Number of pages12
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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