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There are many areas in medicine and industry where it would be advantageous to orally deliver bioactive proteins and peptides (BPPs), including ACE inhibitors, antimicrobials, antioxidants, hormones, enzymes, and vaccines. A major challenge in this area is that many BPPs degrade during storage of the product or during passage through the human gut, thereby losing their activity. Moreover, many BPPs have undesirable taste profiles (such as bitterness or astringency), which makes them unpleasant to consume. These challenges can often be overcome by encapsulating them within colloidal particles that protect them from any adverse conditions in their environment, but then release them at the desired site-of-action, which may be inside the gut or body. This article begins with a discussion of BPP characteristics and the hurdles involved in their delivery. It then highlights the characteristics of colloidal particles that can be manipulated to create effective BPP-delivery systems, including particle composition, size, and interfacial properties. The factors impacting the functional performance of colloidal delivery systems are then highlighted, including their loading capacity, encapsulation efficiency, protective properties, retention/release properties, and stability. Different kinds of colloidal delivery systems suitable for encapsulation of BPPs are then reviewed, such as microemulsions, emulsions, solid lipid particles, liposomes, and microgels. Finally, some examples of the use of colloidal delivery systems for delivery of specific BPPs are given, including hormones, enzymes, vaccines, antimicrobials, and ACE inhibitors. An emphasis is on the development of food-grade colloidal delivery systems, which could be used in functional or medical food applications. The knowledge presented should facilitate the design of more effective vehicles for the oral delivery of bioactive proteins and peptides.








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