Dietary intake of probiotic bacteria has been shown to impart health effects, however, maintaining viable cells in foods and during passage of the adverse conditions in the upper gastro-intestinal tract is often a problem. The objective of this research was to develop and characterize novel food-grade phase-separated gelatin–maltodextrin (G-MD) microspheres, where the gelatin was cross-linked with transglutaminase (TGase), to determine if encapsulated probiotic lactic acid bacteria were protected during exposure to simulated upper gastro-intestinal tract conditions. The stability, size, structure and protective ability of G-MD microspheres as a function of different TGase concentrations and gelatin bloom strengths were tested. The G-MD microspheres made with gelatin A 300 bloom and a TGase concentration of 10U/g prevented pepsin-induced degradation of the microspheres in simulated gastric juice (pH2.0, 2h, 37°C), resulting in significantly (p<0.05) higher numbers of survivors due to the buffering effect of intact microspheres (average diameter 46μm). After sequential incubation in simulated gastric (1h) and intestinal juices (pH7.4, 4h, 37°C), survivor levels of each of the three encapsulated Lactobacillus sp. (3C2–10, 21C2–10 and 21C2–12) were reduced by 0.2–1log(CFU/g) as compared to 3–4log(CFU/g) for the free non-encapsulated cells. This study presents a new protein based microencapsulation method, which using all food-grade ingredients protects probiotic lactic acid bacteria during exposure to adverse environmental conditions.
Food Research International – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2016
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