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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Digestion and absorption of bioactive free fatty acids have been studied using the nematode Caernohabditis elegans (C. elegans). However, fatty acids mostly occur in foods in the form of triglycerides, which are highly hydrophobic molecules with low water-solubility, thereby making it difficult to study the fate of ingested fatty acids in C. elegans. The purpose of this research was to develop a method to deliver hydrophobic bioactives, including triglycerides, into C. elegans. Nanoemulsions containing triglyceride nanoparticles were prepared by sonication, and nanoparticle ingestion was confirmed by optical and confocal microscopy, and quantified by spectrometry. Changes in fatty acid composition were measured to confirm the absorption of triglycerides delivered as nanoparticles. Nanoparticles with a wide range of particle diameters (40 to 500 nm) were ingested by C. elegans. The ingested triglyceride amount was dependent on the size and concentration of the nanoparticles, but the fatty acid composition of C. elegans was not significantly changed by dietary triglycerides. Nanoemulsion based-delivery systems enable C. elegans to be used for evaluation of hydrophobic bioactives and may provide a useful tool for testing their biological activities.


First Advisor

Yeonhwa Park