Effect of microformulation on the bioactivity of an anthocyanin-rich bilberry pomace extract (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) in vitro

Christopher Kropat, Michael Betz, Ulrich Kulozik, Sabine Leick, Heinz Rehage, Ute Boettler, Nicole Teller, Doris Marko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In cell culture were compared the different release rates of anthocyanins from a bilberry pomace extract encapsulated either in food grade whey protein-based matrix capsules (WPC) or in pectin amid-based hollow spherical capsules (PHS). The impact of the formulations on typical anthocyanin-associated biological end points such as inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and suppression of cell growth in HT29 colon carcinoma cells was assessed. The purpose was to find whether the release rates are sufficient to maintain biological activity and whether encapsulation affected EGFR inhibitory and growth suppressive properties of the extract. Even though anthocyanin release from extract-loaded capsules was proven under cell culture conditions, the inhibitory potential toward the EGFR was diminished. However, nonencapsulated extract as well as both extract-loaded encapsulation systems diminished the growth of HT29 cells to a comparable extent. The loss of EGFR inhibitory properties by encapsulation despite anthocyanin release indicates substantial contribution of other further constituents not monitored so far. Taken together, both applied encapsulation strategies allowed anthocyanin release and maintained biological activity with respect to growth inhibitory properties. However, the loss of EGFR inhibitory effects emphasizes the need for biological profiling to estimate process-induced changes of plant constituent's beneficial potencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4873-4881
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - 22 May 2013


  • bilberry pomace extract
  • epidermal growth factor receptor
  • human colon carcinoma cells
  • pectin
  • whey protein


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