Author(s): Heidebach T, Frst P, Kulozik U
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Abstract The addition of microencapsulated probiotic cells to food products is a relatively new functional food concept. Most of the published scientific research in this field is not older than ten years. However, the technological background reaches back to the 1980s, where lactic acid bacteria were microencapsulated within the concept of the so-called immobilized cell technology (ICT). Target applications of ICT were continuous fermentation processes and improved biomass production. The methods adopted from immobilized cell technology were applied for the microencapsulation of probiotics, often optimized towards specific requirements associated with the protection of probiotic cells in food applications. However, there are still significant hurdles with respect to currently available methods for probiotic cell microencapsulation. This is mainly due to the fact that important characteristics of microcapsules based on ICT appear to be in conflict with the requirements arising from an application of probiotic microcapsules in food products, with particle size and inappropriate matrix characteristics being the most prominent ones. Based on this situation the aim of this review is to give a critical overview of the current approaches regarding the microencapsulation of probiotic cells for food applications and to report on emerging developments.
This article was published in Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Fertilizers & Pesticides