INNOPREFAT Milestone Reached: Microencapsulation of Metabolaid through Spray Drying with Inulin and Maltodextrin.

We are very happy to inform that we have successfully completed the task regarding microencapsulation of Metabolaid, which is part of the INNOPREFAT project, a H2020 SME instrument phase II project. Microencapsulation has been successfully performed using inulin and maltodextrin as encapsulation agents.

Microencapsulation is a technique where the active compounds of the ingredient are coated with an encapsulating molecule that acts as a barrier. This allows protecting the active compounds against external agents that may cause degradation, such as UV radiation, heat (sterilization processes), oxidation, acidic/base matrixes, etc, and overall improve its shelf-life. Furthermore, a reduction in its organoleptic characteristics is also detected. This is especially important for the inclusion of the ingredient in food matrixes, where the ingredient could affect the food matrix’s color and/or flavor. Another important aspect of microencapsulation is that it protects the active compounds until they reach the intestines, thereby improving its bioavailability.

For the microencapsulation process, inulin and maltodextrin were selected as encapsulation agents, since they present several advantages:

  • Low viscosity at a high solid content
  • Good solubility
  • A relatively low price
  • Are capable of resisting digestive enzymes until reaching the small intestine (in the case of maltodextrin) or colon (in the case of inulin). This will make a higher number of phenolic compounds of the ingredient, such as phenylpropanoids and anthocyanins, reach the gastrointestinal tract for increased absorption.
  • Inulin, being a non-digestible carbohydrate, presents an additional functional benefit, which could be an adequate complement to Metabolaid´s effect. Specifically, it acts as a prebiotic (improving gut health) and fat/sugar replacer, making it an ideal solution for a weight loss product.

We have already validated the product with two relevant dairy companies, one in a drinkable yogurt format, and the other in a milk powder solution. Both companies agree that the microencapsulated product is a significant improvement in the organoleptic properties of the ingredient, allowing it to be more easily incorporated into their final products.

This work is part of the INNOPREFAT, grant number 783838, a H2020 SME instrument phase II project.