Innovative Technologies - Protection of bioactive ingredients by encapsulation in glassy matrices

eFOOD-Lab_International_01_2016

Protection of bioactive ingredients by encapsulation in glassy matrices 24 1/2016 eFOOD-Lab international Innovative Technologies Technologies, principles and applications Author: Job Ubbink, Food Concept & Physical Design "The Mill" Mühleweg 10, CH-4112 Flüh, Switzerland, E-mail: job.ubbink@themill.ch The market for novel food products fortified with nutrients and other functional ingredients is growing, driven by the increased attention of consumers to their potential health benefits and promise to reduce the risk of diseases 1. The incorporation of active ingredients, such as vitamins and antioxidants, but also flavors, into food systems is however not straightforward 2. This is because conditions prevailing in a typical food matrix are often detrimental to the stability of bioactive ingredients. Many bioactive ingredients are highly sensitive compounds, which may undergo oxidation, hydrolysis, or other chemical reactions. Moreover, several classes of active ingredients, in particular flavor compounds, are volatile, and may diffuse out of the food matrix 3. Finally, many active ingredients are hydrophobic and are liquid at room temperature. This is causing issues with the dispersion of the active ingredient in the food matrix, and with the reconstitution of the product in case of water-dispersable formulations (typically powders) 4. Encapsulation systems are commonly employed to protect and release in a controlled manner the bioactive ingredients depending on the compatibility properties of the active ingredient and the target food application Table 1: Overview of the various glass encapsulation systems, including key performance characteristics. 5. In food applications at low and intermediate water activities, a high level of protection can be achieved by encapsulating sensitive active ingredients in glassy carbohydrates 2. Carbohydrates in the glassy state constitute very good barriers against the diffusion of gases, such as oxygen and hydrophobic organic compounds. In addition, glassy carbohydrates can stabilize delicate biomolecules, in particular proteins, peptides and self-assembled surfactant complexes, during long-term storage in low-water content systems. In this article, I am first reviewing the technologies used for the encapsulation of bioac-


eFOOD-Lab_International_01_2016
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