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Physiological protection of probiotic microcapsules by coatings

Ramos, Philippe E., Cerqueira, Miguel A., Teixeira, José A., Vicente, António A.
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 2018 v.58 no.11 pp. 1864-1877
alginates, beverages, business enterprises, chitosan, coatings, digestion, gastrointestinal system, ingestion, microencapsulation, probiotics, survival rate, whey protein
Nowadays, food and nutrition have a greater impact in people's concerns, with the awareness that nutrition have a direct impact in health and wellbeing. Probiotics have an important role in this topic and consumers are starting to really understand their potential in health, leading to an increasing interest of the companies to their commercial use in foods. However, there are several limitations to the use of probiotics in foods and beverages, being one of them their efficiency (directly associated to their survival rate) upon ingestion. This work is focused in microencapsulation techniques that have been used to increase probiotics efficiency. More specifically, this work reviews the most recent and relevant research about the production and coating techniques of probiotic-loaded microcapsules, providing an insight in the effect of these coatings in probiotics survival during the gastrointestinal phase. This review shows that coatings with the better performances in probiotics protection, against the harsh conditions of digestion, are chitosan, alginate, poly-L-lysine, and whey protein. Chitosan presented an interesting performance in probiotics protection being able to maintain the initial concentration of viable probiotics during a digestive test. The analyses of different works also showed that the utilization of several coatings does not guarantee a better protection in comparison with monocoated microcapsules.