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Microentrapment of probiotic bacteria in a whey protein gel

 

 

 

J Microencapsul. 2005 Sep;22(6):603-19.

 

Microentrapment of probiotic bacteria in a Ca(2+)-induced whey protein gel and effects on their viability in a dynamic gastro-intestinal model.

 

Ainsley Reid A, Vuillemard JC, Britten M, Arcand Y, Farnworth E, Champagne CP. Food and Nutrition Sciences Department and INAF, Laval University Quebec, QC, Canada.

 

Entrapping probiotic bacteria in gels with ionic cross-linking is typically achieved with polysaccharides (alginate, pectin, carraghenan). In this study, whey proteins were used for this purpose by carrying out the Ca(2+)-induced gelation of pre-heated whey protein isolate (WPI). A Lactobacillus rhamnosus cell suspension was added in a denatured WPI solution in a 30 : 70 volume ratio. Gelation was carried out by extrusion of the cell suspension in a CaCl(2) solution. Beads of approximately 3 mm diameter were formed. The population in the beads was 8.0 x 10(8) cells g(-1). Entrapment efficiency in gel beads was 96%, with a survival level of 23%. Scanning electron microscopy of beads before freeze-drying showed a tight protein network containing encapsulated Lb. rhamnosus cells homogeneously distributed throughout the matrix. The survival to freeze-drying of the bead-entrapped cells was 41%. Viability of microentrapped cells in a dynamic gastro-intestinal (GI) model was studied and the results were compared to free cells freeze-dried in a milk-based cryoprotective solution, as well as in a pre-denatured WPI solution. Results showed that protein gelation provided protection against acidic conditions in the stomach after 90 min, as well as against bile after 30, 60 and 90 min in the duodenum. Moreover, the milk-based cryoprotective solution was equally effective after 90 min in the duodenum. It is concluded that the gelation of whey proteins induced by Ca(2+) ions can protect the cells against adverse conditions of the GI system. However, certain stages in the entrapment process, particularly extrusion in the solution of CaCl(2), still need to be optimized in order to reduce the mortality of the cells during gelation.

 

PMID: 16401577 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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