The study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, looked at ways to make a co-encapsulated omega-3 fat and probiotic using a whey protein isolate (WPI) and a gum arabic complex (GA). Omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics were found in the process. Bacteria can form a stable co-encapsulation using a single WPI-GA coacervate microcapsule, which can then either be spray dried or freeze dried to form a powder.

Led by Divya Eratte of Federation University Australia, the team found that interest in eating foods containing probiotic bacteria is growing, while there is also high commercial demand for omega-3 fatty acids.

“When probiotic bacteria and omega-3 fatty acids are encapsulated in a single product, it can lead to synergistic health benefits,” write Eratte and colleagues. “A synergistic effect between omega-3 fatty acids and probiotic bacteria has been reported during digestion, in which omega-3 lipids help probiotic bacteria attach to the intestinal wall. Co-microencapsulation can also have stability advantages. “

“This study is the first systematic attempt to develop a single microcapsule capable of bringing omega-3 fatty acids and probiotic bacteria together in one particle,” they said.

Such co-encapsulated microcapsules, which contain omega-3 fatty acids and probiotic bacteria, will be useful for the stabilized delivery of these two important functional ingredients together in functional food and nutraceutical applications, said Eratte and her team.

Co-encapsulation study

While the idea of ​​co-encapsulation is widely used in pharmaceutical delivery systems, the team found that co-encapsulation of more than one bioactive component with different properties – like omega-3 oil (hydrophobic) and probiotic bacteria (hydrophilic) – is challenging and has not been reported.

The Australian researchers compared the microencapsulation of the probiotic (P) bacteria L. casei 431 in a WPI-GA complex coacervate matrix that forms WPI-P-GA microcapsules, in addition to the co-encapsulation of L. casei 431 and Omega-3 rich tuna oil (O) in the WPI-GA matrix that forms WPI-PO-GA microcapsules through complex coacervation.

“The novelty or importance of this study lies in the fact that it is investigating whether probiotic bacteria and omega-3 fatty acids can be encapsulated in the coacervate of the WPI-GA complex and whether such encapsulation contributes synergistically to bacterial and bacterial survival Oxidation stability of the omega-3 fatty acids ”, according to the authors.

According to the team, both the encapsulation of L. casei 431 alone in a WPI-GA matrix and the co-encapsulation of L. casei and omega-3 rich tuna oil in WPI-GA were successful.

Thereafter, the liquid capsules containing bacterial cells and also bacterial cells together with tuna oil were converted into powder form either by spray drying or freeze drying.

The team found that L. casei viability was significantly (p> 0.05) higher when encapsulated with tuna oil in WPI-GA complex, rather than encapsulated in the same shell matrix alone. In the meantime, the oxidation stability of tuna oil in spray-dried co-capsules is significantly higher than in freeze-dried ones.

All microcapsules produced are amorphous in nature, the team said.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Published online before going to press, doi: 10.1016 / j.jff.2015.01.037
“Co-encapsulation and characterization of omega-3 fatty acids and probiotic bacteria in whey protein isolate-gum-arabic-complex-coacervates”
Authors: Divya Eratte et al

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