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Polysaccharides in sodium caseinate low-melting point fat microparticles improve probiotic bacteria survival.

Data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) show that about 4 million people, or 1.6% of US adults, had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals. Moreover, the use of probiotics quadrupled between 2007 and 2012.

Probiotics may contain a variety of microorganisms. The most common are bacteria that belong to the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Each of these two broad groups includes many types of bacteria.

Previously, scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada had reported that sodium caseinate (NaCas) can effectively protect probiotic bacterial cells from heat inactivation during spray-drying in the presence of low-melting point fat (LMF). The objective of their recent research was to enhance the gastric resistance and storage properties of NaCas-LMF-based probiotic microparticles by incorporating different carbohydrate polymers. They demonstrated that NaCas-LMF combined with gum Arabic may effectively protect probiotic bacterial cells, not only during spray-drying, but also during storage and in-vitro digestion.

Probiotic bacteria were spray-dried in NaCas solutions containing LMF, and combined with either: maltodextrin, pullulan, gum ghatti or gum Arabic. Probiotic bacteria only showed good survival--about a 50% survival rate--after they were spray-dried in microcapsules formulated with gum ghatti or gum Arabic.

Adding gum Arabic and gum ghatti to NaCas positively affected the in-vitro gastric resistance of the probiotic bacteria, whereas maltodextrin and pullulan exerted a negative influence. Among the formulations tested, microparticles made from a blend of NaCas and gum Arabic showed the highest glass transition temperature (Tg), corresponding to the best survival of probiotic bacteria during a storage period of up to 16 weeks in a water activity range of 0.11 to 0.76. The presence of two Tgs in the NaCas-pullulan matrix suggested that phase separation was occurring, which could partially account for the matrix's poor protective capacity.

Encapsulated probiotic bacteria in all matrices exhibited good release properties in the presence of pig intestinal digesta. The release from microparticles was complete in less than 1 hour.

Further information. Steve Cui, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 93 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario N1G 5C9, Canada; phone: 226-217-8076; fax: 519-829-2600; email:

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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Nov 1, 2016
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