Sunflower oil enriched with curcuminoid compounds (CUs) was gelled by adding 5% (w/w) saturated mono-glycerides (MG), rice bran waxes (RW) or a mixture of beta-sitosterol and gamma-oryzanol (PS). The resulting oleogels differed for rheological properties and firmness due to the difference in gel network structure. PS oleogel was the firmest sample followed by RW and MG ones. Upon in vitro digestion, fatty acid release as a function of digestion time was greatly affected by oleogel structure: the extent of lipolysis decreased as oleogel strength increased (PS < RW < MG). On the other hand, the nature of the oleogelator affected CUs bioaccessibility, which was lower in oleogels containing crystalline particles (MG and RW). These findings appear interesting in the attempt to develop oleogels able to control lipid digestion as well as to deliver bioactive molecules in food systems.
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