The solvent evaporation technique was used in this study to evaluate probiotics microencapsulation in AQOAT/ dichloromethane matrix and cell viability was also measured to assess its potentials in industrial food formulation processes. Cumulative release experiments using water blue dye as a model molecule was also used to evaluate the prebiotic applications. Well-defined spherical AQOAT microcapsules [50.0 ìm ± (24.14)] were formed from 5% AQOAT solution. Cells of Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus plantarum were successfully encapsulated with this technique. However, a 7 log and a 5 log reduction were recorded for B. breve and L. plantarum respectively after 60 min in buffer (P<0.05). Results of this study showed that 1% AQOAT solution lowered viability by 1 log and cell exposure to 10 ml dichloromethane resulted in a 3 log reduction, thus confirming bactericidal properties of both polymer and organic solvent. DCM was however shown to have more bactericidal effects on the cells (P<0.001). Cumulative release trials using 0.2% water blue dye solution showed a 40% loss and encapsulation efficiency (EE) of 73.8% (±14.76). It was recommended that viability counts using this technique be further evaluated using other organic solvents (such as ethyl acetate and chloroform) or other synthetic polymers so as to increase its applicability in the food industry.
Cumulative release, Microencapsulation, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Viability
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