Nutritional values and microencapsulation techniques of fish oil from different sources: A mini review (2023)

Table of Contents
Abstract Introduction Section snippets Nutritional values and sources of fish oil Importance of microencapsulation Microencapsulation technique Conclusion and recommendation Authors’ contribution Declaration of Competing Interest Acknowledgements References (54) Trends Food Sci. Technol. J. Food Eng. Food Chem. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. J. Supercrit. Fluids. Beni-Suef Univ. J. Basic Appl. Sci. Sustain. Chem. Pharm. Food Chem. Food Res. Int. J. Supercrit. Fluids. Food Res. Int. J. Food Process. Preserv. Agric. Rev. Lipid Technol. Int. Food Res. J. J. Dispers. Sci. Technol. Malaysian J Anal. Sci. MATEC Web Conf. Food Chem. AACL Bioflux. Lipid Technol. Food Hydrocoll. J. Food Qual. J. Aquat. Food Prod. Technol. Cited by (8) Microencapsulation of camphor using trimethylsilylcellulose Lipid metabolism in juvenile of Yellowtail, Seriola dorsalis fed diets containing different lipid levels Effect of temperature on fatty acid composition in the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus): A temperature dependent nutritive lipid profile Oxidative stability and invitro release behaviour of microencapsulated Antarctic krill oil and fish oil: the effect of lipid class composition Effect of Temperature on Fatty Acid Composition in the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus): A Healthy Lipid Profile Oil extraction from catfish (Netuma barba) waste through the supercritical fluid Recommended articles (6) Vatica rassak wood waste-derived activated carbon for effective Pb(II) adsorption: Kinetic, isotherm and reusability studies Physicochemical and electrochemical characterization of CdO/g-C3N4 nanocomposite for the photoreforming of petrochemical wastewater Development of fibrous mesoporous silica for catalytic reaction: A short review Influence of dendrimeric silica BEA zeolite towards acidity and mesoporosity for enhanced benzene methylation A short review on bimetallic Co-based catalysts for carbon dioxide reforming of methane Food waste hydrolysate as fermentation medium: Comparison of pre-treatment methods

Materials Today: Proceedings

Volume 42, Part 1,


, Pages 222-228

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Fish oil is commonly consumed as dietary supplement due to its richness in long-chain polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important in preventing heart disease and also vital in human early development stage. Fish oil-based supplements can easily be found in global market and may vary in concentrations, forms, and purity. The main concerns on those available fish oil-based products are on their freshness and stability, since Omega-3 fatty acids are prone to oxidation and release unpleasant smell. In recent years, microencapsulation technology received significant increment in demand as it was continuously applied in food and pharmaceutical industries. Mechanisms of these techniques involved the formation of emulsion containing the core (fish oil) and the coating materials. The present review aims to compile findings and scientific research of nutritional values and microencapsulation techniques of fish oil. The sources of fish oil, therapeutic benefits, and bioactive compound constituents, different microencapsulation techniques, coating materials formulations, advantages and challenges on the current available microencapsulation techniques are also discussed and reviewed.


In 1870 s, it was reported that most of the Greenland Eskimos have low incidents of heart diseases despite of their high fat and cholesterol diet [1]. Soon, it was discovered that their daily diet which incorporated large amount of omega-3 rich fish oil protected them from heart related diseases. Since then, remarkable interest had grown towards fish oil benefits and it has been one of the consumer alternatives as supplement to lower blood pressure, reduce abnormalities in heart rhythm, reduce chances of heart attack and stroke [1], [2], [3]. Fish oil derived from oily fish tissues comprises of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential in human metabolism and mental developments [2], [3], [4]. According to Das et al. [3], potential benefits of EPA and DHA in daily dietary considered as omnipotent since it helps to improve brain function, heart health, reduce cancer risk, mental disorders and support eye health.

EPA and DHA are derived from various sources of marine life, and human are not able to synthesise it on its own [5]. Most communal dietary sources of EPA and DHA is cold-water oily marine life such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, herring and sardines [6], [7], [8]. Even though cold-water fish is the main source of EPA and DHA, fish does not synthesise it on its own, as fish acquired them from the microalgae and plankton dietary. Not limited to cold-water marine life, EPA and DHA also can be extracted from the fresh water fish such as common carp, catfish, and eel [9], [10], [11]. According to Kuvendziev et al. [11], common carp viscera which is commonly considered as bio-waste had shown significant presence of omega-enriched fish oil, potentially suitable for food and pharmaceutical industries. Apart from fresh oily fish tissues, fish by-product is also one of the great sources of EPA and DHA. Fish by-products structure are more complex compared to vegetable oil and land-animal oil due to its long chain unsaturated fatty acid [12], [13]. One of the major challenges in producing omega-3 fatty acids-based products are on its availability of fresh and stable supplies. Omega-3 fatty acids are prone to oxidation and known to have unpleasant smell, hence it should be carefully processed and handled to avoid any bioactive compound degradation [13], [14]. Recently, microencapsulation technologies have been increasing in demand due to its ability in preserving the compound of interest from any degradations and maintaining its quality.

Microencapsulation is known as a coating process of an active substance to preserve its properties. It can be used to preserve solid, liquid or gaseous materials with thin protective film or polymeric coatings from suitable polymer, forming a small protected particle [15]. Microencapsulation technique has been widely implemented in pharmaceutical as well as food, cosmetics and agrochemical industries. Microencapsulation is aimed for the stabilization of the targeted bioactive substances, control release and significantly covering core unpleasant smell or taste [15], [16]. It is important to know that the success factors of this technique are by identifying the suitable coating materials, core release form and microencapsulation methodology. Based on previous studies, it was shown that microencapsulation technique significantly protects the properties of fish oil [17], [18], [19]. The selection of suitable coating materials determines the physicochemical properties and applicability of the fish oil. Łozińska et al. [20] suggested that spray-granulation method was suited to protect fish oil. Jeyakumari et al. [21] recommended the use of fish gelatine as coating materials, as it improved the oxidative stability of fish oil and it was comparable to maltodextrin. Considering the significance of these issues, an introduction and review on the sources of fish oil, therapeutic benefits, bioactive compound constituent, microencapsulation techniques, coating materials formulations, advantages and challenges of available microencapsulation techniques are defined and discussed.

Section snippets

Nutritional values and sources of fish oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, derived from the tissues of an oily fish such as cod liver, eels, mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, and anchovies [13], [17], [18], [22]. Findings from previous studies suggested that fish oil is essential in daily dietary intake as it is rich in long-chain fatty acid of EPA and DHA. Both components are the key elements in preventing numerous diseases including atherosclerosis, aging, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, supporting pregnancy

Importance of microencapsulation

In recent years, there was increasing demand on microencapsulation techniques for pharmaceutical (68%), cosmetics (8%), agricultural (2%), textile (5%) as well as food industries (13%) [13], [16], [37]. Microencapsulation is a process where an active material or core material is coated with protective layers of coating materials to avoid any side effects due to its exposure to environments. The coating materials will then break under the application of specific stimulus such as heat, pressure

Microencapsulation technique

Microencapsulation as preservation technique to deliver active core materials has gained popularity in many areas of industries, particularly in food and pharmaceutical areas. According to Das et al. [45], currently extensive number of methodologies are available for the microencapsulation of active substance and it should be carefully selected based on its applications and properties. Microencapsulation technique is further divided into two major groups, which is chemical and physical. The

Conclusion and recommendation

In conclusion, the nutritional values and microencapsulation technique of fish oil are reviewed and summarized. It was suggested that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the most common bioactive compounds extracted from the marine life mainly tuna, salmon and mackerel. Not only limited to cold-water sources, they also can be obtained from fresh water fish and shell marine life. Although the current situation of fish oil production is stable, future projections

Authors’ contribution

N A Hashim and S K Abdul Mudalip developed paper outline and wrote the manuscript. S M Shaarani and S Z Sulaiman edited the manuscript and gave conceptual advice. All authors have approved the final article to be submitted as manuscript.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.


The authors are grateful for the financial support under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme FRGS/1/2019/K02/UMP/02/9 (Grant No. RDU1901134) by the Ministry of Education Malaysia. Special thanks to the Faculty of Chemical & Process Engineering Technology, Universiti Malaysia Pahang for the re research facilities.

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      Volatile oil (Locali-Pereira, Lopes, Menis-Henrique, Janzantti & Nicoletti, 2020; Muhoza et al., 2020), drug (Onda, Aquino, Mondala & Bulatao, 2020; Wang, Hao & Cai, 2019), enzyme (Maruyama, Bilesky-José, de Lima & Fraceto, 2020; Tikhonov et al., 2021), bacteria (Li, Liu, Tian, Luo & Liu, 2019; Pupa et al., 2021), toxic substances (Zhang et al., 2019) have been successfully encapsulated in order to improve stability, control the release rate, or improve safe handling (Perinelli, Palmieri, Cespi & Bonacucina, 2020). The microcapsules have been applied in various fields like food (Arenas Jal, Suñé Negre, & García Montoya, 2020), health (Hashim, Abdul Mudalip, Sulaiman, & Md Shaarani, 2021), medicine (Lopez-Mendez, Santos-Vizcaino, Pedraz, Orive & Hernandez, 2021), cosmetics (Srivastava & Fatima, 2021), textile (Singh & Sheikh, 2020) and agriculture (Hao et al., 2019). Cellulose is a rich bio-resource extracted and delignified from plant fibers (Beroual et al., 2021; Hussin et al., 2019).

      Microencapsulation of camphor by trimethylsilylcellulose was performed using oil-in-water emulsion method. Trimethylsilylcellulose (TMSC) with the DS value of 2.41 (CHN analysis) was synthesized by dissolving commercial cellulose in N, N-dimethylacetamide/LiCl followed by reacting with hexamethyldisilazane. Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in acidic aqueous solution and tetramethylammonium chloride (TMACl) in water were attempted as emulsifiers. The oil phase composed of TMSC and camphor in ethyl acetate was dispersed in emulsifier solution. The mass ratio of TMSC to camphor and emulsifier concentration were optimized to produce high quality microcapsules. Using the mass ratio of 3:7 and 1% (w/v) SDS solution gave well separated microcapsules of TMSC_C_SDS (1). The diameter size in the micron range (10–110mm) and high camphor content (∼21.07%) were obtained from this sample. The larger size of the capsules obtained from TMACl system indicated the coalescence of the oil droplets. The hydrolysis of the external surface of the microcapsules was observed in the SDS system. However, this caused a minor effect on the cellulose stability in TMSC_C_SDS (1). The freshly prepared microcapsules of TMSC_C_SDS (1) showed the fast release of camphor during first 2h and reached the equilibrium after 7h.

    • Lipid metabolism in juvenile of Yellowtail, Seriola dorsalis fed diets containing different lipid levels

      2022, Aquaculture

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      Thus, it is essential to provide a balanced diet in terms of protein and lipid levels according to the physiological characteristics of the target species. Fish oil has been regarded as the ideal lipid source for fish species, assuming its fatty acid profile is adequate for growth and healthy development, especially for its high n-3 LC-PUFAs levels (Hashim et al., 2021). Consequently, due to the tendency to replace fish oil with other alternative sources, several manuscripts have been reported within this effort (Turchini et al., 2009; Venegas-Calderón et al., 2010; Nasopoulou and Zabetakis, 2012).

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