Probiotic bacteria are used in production of functional foods and pharmaceutical products. They play an important role in promoting and maintaining human health. In order, to produce health benefits probiotic strains should be present in a viable form at a suitable level during the product is shelf life until consumption and maintain high viability throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Many reports indicated that there is poor survival of probiotic bacteria in products containing free probiotic cells . Providing probiotic living cells with a physical barrier to resist adverse environmental conditions is therefore an approach currently receiving considerable interest . The encapsulation techniques for protection of bacterial cells have resulted in greatly enhanced viability of these microorganisms in food products as well as in the gastrointestinal tract. Encapsulation is a process to entrap active agents within a carrier material and it is a useful tool to improve living cells into foods, to protect [3, 4, 5, 6, 7], to extend their storage life and to convert them into a powder form for convenient use [8, 9, 10, 11]. In addition, encapsulation can promote controlled release and optimize delivery to the site of action, thereby potentiating the efficacy of the respective probiotic strain. This process can also prevent these microorganisms from multiplying in food that would otherwise change their sensory characteristics. Otherwise, materials used for design of protective shell of encapsulates must be food-grade, biodegradable and able to form a barrier between the internal phase and its surroundings.
Chavarri, M., Maranon, I., & Carmen, M. (2012). Encapsulation Technology to Protect Probiotic Bacteria. In Probiotics. InTech. https://doi.org/10.5772/50046