The nanoparticle is said to act like a Trojan horse, providing a vehicle for antioxidants, protecting them from free radicals in the body. The particle itself is made from a substance found in crab shells. “Once in the small intestine the nanoparticle gets sticky and bonds to the intestinal wall, and it then leaks its contents directly into the intestinal cells, which allows them to be absorbed directly into the blood stream,'' said Dr Ian Larson, a researcher from the faculty of pharmacy at the Monash University in Melbourne.
The new technology will be tested on rats first with the hope that someday the antioxidant laden nanoparticle could be added to human foods. Researchers working on the project have indicated that they are still in preliminary stages with the particle, but are hopeful this could be a revolutionary new food technology.