Formulation Of A Phenol-Rich Extract From Unripe Olives (Olea Europaea L.) In Microemulsion To Improve Its Solubility And Intestinal Permeability
The beneficial properties of phenolic compounds from Olea europaea L. are well-known. An olive extract (OE) was prepared from unripe olives (Moraiolo cultivar). The study aimed to formulate OE into a microemulsion (ME) in oral dosage form. OE was extracted from olives with EtOH:H2O (80:20) and characterized by HPLC-DAD. ME composition was stated by a solubility and pseudo-ternary diagram. The ME was chemically and physically characterized, and its stability at 4 °C was analyzed for three months. The ability of the formulation to ameliorate the solubility and the intestinal permeability of OE was evaluated by a Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeability Assay (PAMPA) assay and Caco-2 cells. The total phenolic content of the extract was 39% w/w. The main constituent was oleuropein (31.0%), together with ligstroside (3.1%) and verbascoside (2.4%). The ME was prepared using Capryol 90 as the oily phase, and Cremophor EL and Transcutol (2:1) as surfactant and co-surfactant, respectively. ME droplet size was 14.03 ± 1.36 nm, PdI 0.20 ± 0.08, ζ-potential −1.16 ± 0.48. Stability of ME was confirmed for at least three months. The formulation was loaded with 35 mg/mL of OE, increasing the solubility of the extract by about four times. The enhanced permeability of OE was evaluated by PAMPA, as demonstrated by the Pe value (1.44 ± 0.83 × 10−6 cm/s for OE hydroalcoholic solution, 3.74 ± 0.34 × 10−6 cm/s for OE-ME). Caco-2 cell transport studies confirmed the same results: Papp was 16.14 ± 0.05 × 10−6 cm/s for OE solution and 26.99 ± 0.45 × 10−6 cm/s for OE-ME. ME proved to be a suitable formulation for oral delivery.