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Wheatgrass juice to wheat grass powder: Encapsulation, physical and chemical characterization
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Wheatgrass juice (Triticum aestivum L.) is known as a healthy drink due to its high antioxidant activity and phenolic content. In order to avoid the undesirable odor and protect the functional compounds, wheatgrass juice was encapsulated using maltodextrin and whey protein. Antioxidant and phenolic content, mean particle size and distribution, morphology, simulated digestion and thermal stability experiments were conducted on the encapsulated powders. Results showed that antioxidant activity was in between 0.30 and 0.06 mg 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)/g powder and phenolic content was 3.52–2.28 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g powder. Encapsulated powders showed good stability in gastric juice and had 62% higher phenolic content compared to the intestinal fluid within 10 min digestion. Phenolic content of powders was also protected against thermal treatment at 40 °C, 55 °C and 70 °C. Kinetic parameters for degradation of the phenolics were well estimated (R2⩾0.85) using fractional conversion model.