Complexes of lutein with bovine and caprine caseins and their impact on lutein chemical stability in emulsion systems: Effect of arabinogalactan

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Journal of Dairy Science


Lutein is an important xanthophyll carotenoid with many benefits to human health. Factors affecting the application of lutein as a functional ingredient in low-fat dairy-like beverages (pH 6.0–7.0) are not well understood. The interactions of bovine and caprine caseins with hydrophobic lutein were studied using UV/visible spectroscopy as well as fluorescence. Our studies confirmed that the aqueous solubility of lutein is improved after binding with bovine and caprine caseins. The rates of lutein solubilization by the binding to bovine and caprine caseins were as follows: caprine αS1-II-casein 34%, caprine αS1-I-casein 10%, and bovine casein 7% at 100 μM lutein. Fluorescence of the protein was quenched on binding supporting complex formation. The fluorescence experiments showed that the binding involves tryptophan residues and some nonspecific interactions. Scatchard plots of lutein binding to the caseins demonstrated competitive binding between the caseins and their sites of interaction with lutein. Competition experiments suggest that caprine αS1-II casein will bind a larger number of lutein molecules with higher affinity than other caseins. The chemical stability of lutein was largely dependent on casein type and significant increases occurred in the chemical stability of lutein with the following pattern: caprine αS1-II-casein > caprine αS1-I-casein > bovine casein. Addition of arabinogalactan to lutein-enriched emulsions increases the chemical stability of lutein-casein complexes during storage under accelerated photo-oxidation conditions at 25°C. Therefore, caprine αS1-II-casein alone and in combination with arabinogalactan can have important applications in the beverage industry as carrier of this xanthophyll carotenoid (lutein).

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