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Microencapsulation

Microencapsulation is a process by which we apply a protective coating called a matrix around a small particle called the core or active. Encapsulation turns liquids/oils and other ingredients into dust free powders that are simple to process, easy to dose and cost-effective to use. Matrix encapsulation allows for the enclosure of more than one active ingredient within one particle, giving you increased flexibility and control. Encapsulation also constitutes a competitive tool to create new properties to usual materials. Getting stable functional ingredients, mixing such compounds in a hydrophilic food powder can prove to be a real challenge. In addition to protection, microencapsulation allows the conversion of oils/ ingredients to free-flowing, easily suspendable and dispersible powders.

Several constraints make the development of an encapsulation process difficult. First, encapsulation is an extra cost, which has to be minimized to be economically acceptable. This applies to the materials used to “build” the microcapsules, but also to the equipment or processing conditions. The number of food-grade materials suitable for microencapsulation is also very limited. In the Nutraceutical industry, the food engineer has to play finely with the coating/ membrane formulation to achieve appropriate and specific properties.

Microencapsulation enhanced the oxidative stability of Astaxanthin oil in the powder form during storage.

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