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Impact of heat treatment on size, structure, and bioactivity of elemental selenium nanoparticles

Authors Zhang J, Taylor, Wan, Peng D

Received 23 November 2011

Accepted for publication 17 December 2011

Published 17 February 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 815—825


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Jinsong Zhang1, Ethan W Taylor2, Xiaochun Wan1, Dungeng Peng3

1School of Tea and Food Science, Anhui Agricultural University, Anhui, People's Republic of China; 2Department of Nanoscience, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 3Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Background: Elemental selenium nanoparticles have emerged as a novel selenium source with the advantage of reduced risk of selenium toxicity. The present work investigated whether heat treatment affects the size, structure, and bioactivity of selenium nanoparticles.
Methods and results: After a one-hour incubation of solution containing 80 nm selenium particles in a 90°C water bath, the nanoparticles aggregated into larger 110 nm particles and nanorods (290 nm × 70 nm), leading to significantly reduced bioavailability and phase II enzyme induction in selenium-deficient mice. When a solution containing 40 nm selenium nanoparticles was treated under the same conditions, the nanoparticles aggregated into larger 72 nm particles but did not transform into nanorods, demonstrating that the thermostability of selenium nanoparticles is size-dependent, smaller selenium nanoparticles being more resistant than larger selenium nanoparticles to transformation into nanorods during heat treatment.
Conclusion: The present results suggest that temperature and duration of the heat process, as well as the original nanoparticle size, should be carefully selected when a solution containing selenium nanoparticles is added to functional foods.

Keywords: nanoparticle, selenium, bioactivity, heat treatment

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