Product Oriented Projects
A) The NFM consortium - new national consortium bridging industry and academia competences and needs for making and study nanoparticles for future advanced materials - The project is part of a national effort in the area of nanoparticles. The new consortium attempts to gain competence and to make nanoparticles with specific properties for advanced materials.
Our group approaches is to utilize our competence in crystallization processes forming nanoparticles with entrapped guest active molecules in the core of the nanodroplets. The dispersed nanosized particles and/or droplets are evaporated into a continuous molten polymeric matrix. The main applications of this new technology is to facilitate homogeneous incorporation of non-soluble (hydrophilic) active additives (antioxidants, nucleating agents, re-resistant agents, dyes, fogging and antifogging agents) into the molten polymers as nanoparticles without disrupting the polymers properties.
B) NOFAR- national program aiming to develop new delivery vehicles for drugs and nutraceuticals. More specifically development on new lyotropic liquid crystalline structures for improved solubilization and delivery of drugs.
c) New Surfactants-extraction, preparation and characterization - The aim is to search for surfactants and emulsifiers for specific task s and applications. With the application in mind we design the characteristics of the desired surfactant and tailor-made it or extract it from natural sources. Alternatively we search for new sophisticated methods to prepare known and existing surfactants in a more ecumenical or efficient preparation pathways.
Some examples of preparation of known emulsifiers by advanced technologies (preparation in emulsion medium is SSL- sodium stearoyl lactylate which is excellent bread improver. We managed to prepare it in one pot, one step reaction in emulsion medium straight from fat without hydrolyzing the fat into fatty acids. The process turned out to be very economical and as a result accompany was started and the technology was transferred to 14 countries around the world and 14 new plants manufacture today the bread improver (SSL) via our technology.
Similarly alternative pathways were developed for the preparation of other emulsifiers such as DATEM and PGE (polyglycerol esters). N the non-food area we managed to make a graft-copolymer based on poly(methylhydrogen siloxsans) for water-in-oil and double emulsions. The emulsifier is in use in many scientific labs.
Several natural occurring polysaccharides have been extracted, characterized and used as new category of food emulsifiers. Of special interest is the Fenugreek gum (a polygalactomannan with galactose to mannose ratio of 1. The product is used both in the nutraceutical application area (known commercially as FenuPure) and in the food area as hydrocolloid stabilizer. The product is produced by Adumim Food Ingredients.
Yet another example is naturally and enzymatically modified pectin from specific and selective extraction process of the hydrocolloid from the citrus peels, grits and cells. The product Natural cloudy emulsion agent is known as natural Adocloud and is presently used by citrus drink manufacturers. The invention was awarded with the first prize by the European Communities society for inventions and innovations.
In progress there is work attempting to enzymatically modify whey proteins and other bioactive amphiphilic molecules.
D) Formulation Center- Emulsion and double emulsion technology - Formulations Center was established to deal with any industrial applications where emulsions are do be used. The center tries to design emulsification compositions and emulsifiers types for achieving desired emulsion properties. The Center deals with better understanding the physical parameters dictating emulsion stabilities and stabilities and contributes to the understanding of steric stabilization vs. depletion stabilization of polymeric amphiphiles (proteins, hydrocolloids and hybrids).
Double emulsions gained a major interest and many of the basic concepts on double emulsion stabilizations were established in our labs. We managed to stabilize the inner W/O emulsion by bland of PGPR and GMO and to stabilize the outer phase of the O/W emulsion by blends of hydrocolloids and proteins forming complexes or hybrids (vs. spinodal phase separation mechanisms) that are better steric stabilizers than any other combinations of monomeric emulsifiers. Mechanisms of controlled release and sustained release were established.
Our O/W/O double emulsions are today utilized in the pharmaceutical applications and shortly will be introduced in food systems. The double emulsions are essential precursors in the preparation of drug microencapasulation.
Most important products developed and commercialized:
1. Citrus cloudy emulsions (Adocloud) based on natural occurring biopolymeric emulsifiers,
2. Pan release emulsions (Adolease) as mold release agents in the baking industry,
3. Protein-based formulation for nutritional adults nutraceutical–based drinks,
4. Cutting oil emulsions (Paz 1951 mineral riffle oil).
E) Microemulsions and condensed nanosized self-assembled liquid structures(NSSL) for improved solubilization, stability and bioavailability - Major activities of the group that resulted in the establishment of Nutralease (new start-up).
F) Lyotropic liquid crystals and new oleotropic liquid crystals - from cubic phase to cubosomes and from hexagonal phase to hexosomes. Preparation methods and selection of emulsifiers, reagents ratios and conditions (pH, temp, electrolytes, and alcohols) are examined to for large isotropic liquid crystalline mesophases. Emulsifiers such as sugar esters, GMO, lecithin, etc, are tested. The microstructures of the mesophases are established by advanced methods such as SD-NMR, SAXS, SANS, QELS, DSC etc.
Transformations from one phase to another are studied as a function of microstructure compositions and guest (precursor) molecules. Solubilization of nutraceuticals is carried out in the mesophases and the maximum load, selectivity and locus of the guest molecules is detected.
G) Mesophases and microemulsions as reaction media (or microemulsions as microreactors) The aim of these projects is to find methods of making tailor-made molecules by entrapping them during the reaction time in structured liquids for improved stability, regioselectivity and kinetics.
Two major examples are:
1. Enzymatic hydrolysis, by PLA2, of lecithin into lysolecithin in a water-in-oil microemulsion as microreactor. The reaction is faster and microstructure dependent.
2. Maillard reactions between amino acids (leucine, valine, cysteine) and sugars (furfural, xylose, ribose and glucose) in L2, bicontinuous and L1 microemulsions and in cubic, hexagonal and lamellar mesophases.
The reactions are regioselective and yield new aroma compounds that are no generated in aqueous phase reactions. The reaction kinetics are mostly enhanced by the interface, and are microstructure-dependent. The products provoke structural transformation of the microemulsion (from L2 to bicontinuous) and of the mesophases (from cubic to L2) by altering the local interfacial curvatures.
H) Crystallization and polymorphism in organic and pharmaceutical molecules- Crystallization phenomena, effects of impurities and polymorphism are studied by advanced methods in the presence of selected surfactants. Organic systems such as drugs, cholesterol, fats and fatty acids were extensively studied and the mechanism for the effect of the surfactants on polymorphic transitions was clarified. The "bottom syndrome" effect was suggested. The studies enabled technologists to minimize phenomena such as blooming of chocolate, graininess of fat and flowing properties of drugs. A book summarizing findings in this research area was edited by N. Garti and K. Sato.
Additional achievement was in the field of kidney stones. A diagnostic kit for predicting promptness of formation of calcium oxalate in kidneys was developed together with Prof. S. Sarig. The technology was patented. An extensive study on the effect of addenda such as short chain proteins, enzymes and others on the crystallization of calcium oxalate was carried out.
I) Polymeric amphiphiles - aggregation stages and solubilization characteristics - Tailor made synthetic polymers and chemically modified natural polymers, such as proteins and gums, are at present studied and will be offered soon as a new generation of rigid, active emulsifiers. The new concept is based on steric stabilization of interfaces with grafted amphiphilic polymers consisting of hydrophobic backbone to which hydrophilic chains are anchored. These surfactants show promise for spontaneous emulsification for agriculture and industrial applications.
J) Nutraceuticals - Extraction, characterization and formation of new nanosized vehicles to solubilized nutraceutical insoluble active compounds with a maximum load, for improved in transparent food systems and transport with enhanced bioavailability from human digestive tracts to the blood stream.
K) Encapsulation technology –
1. A special product, which is a "ruminant bypass" feed additive composed of encapsulated fatty acids with calcium salts, was designed and prepared. It is a concentrated energy source and dramatically increases milk production especially during the first months following calving. The product named AdoLac was a joined effort of Prof. D. Sklen (of the Agriculture Department) and Prof. N. Garti. The technology is unique and results in free flowing granules. The product is manufactured both by Adumim Chemicals and Koffolk - Animal Feed Manufacturers.
2. Integration of certain emulsifiers with certain stabilizers was carried out by a special encapsulation technique to obtain an additive for the ice-cream and frozen desserts. The protected stabilizers have unique properties. The project was a combined effort of the companies in South Africa (South-Bakels) and in Israel (Adumim) together with the University of Pretoria and the Casali Institute. A series of products called AdoCream (in Israel) and Monotex (in South-Africa) are offered.
L) Terabyte storage memory - This emerging technology is using new concepts of molecularly embedding new chromophores within transparent plastics to allow write and read processes by lasers and to produce a removable disk with terabyte capacity. This project is a multinational effort (European companies) and an Israeli start-up (Mempile Ltd.) to obtain non-expensive external disk (TVD) with a terabyte capacity.