Rutin, a plant flavonol characterized by a wide range of biological effects, has limited application in foods because of its low water solubility and scarce bioavailability. This work aimed to investigate the encapsulation of a rutin-rich extract (200.6 ± 1.5 mg/g of rutin) from Ruta chalepensis L. in zein nanoparticles (hydrodynamic diameter of 80–170 nm) prepared by antisolvent precipitation and stabilized by gum arabic (GA). The addition of GA (1:1 mass ratio with zein) significantly reduced the instability phenomena of zein nanoparticles through the deposition of a negatively charged layer as evidenced by the zeta potential and the UV–visible measurement, suggesting an electrostatic interaction between zein and GA. It also contributed to enhancing the encapsulation efficiency of rutin and inducing a rapid release during simulated digestion. These findings show that zein/GA nanoparticles represent a promising delivery system for natural extracts, fabricated through a facile and versatile process.
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