Send to

Choose Destination
J Microbiol Methods. 2004 Jan;56(1):27-35.

An improved method of microencapsulation and its evaluation to protect Lactobacillus spp. in simulated gastric conditions.

Author information

Centre for Advanced Food Research, University of Western Sydney-Hawkesbury, Locked Bag 1797, NSW 1797, Australia.


An improved method of microencapsulation was developed to increase the efficacy of capsules in protecting the encapsulated bacteria under simulated gastric conditions. Lactobacillus acidophilus CSCC 2400 was encapsulated in calcium alginate and tested for its survival in simulated gastric conditions. The effects of different capsule sizes (200, 450, 1000 microm), different sodium alginate concentrations (0.75%, 1%, 1.5%, 1.8% and 2% w/v) and different concentrations of calcium chloride (0.1, 0.2, 1.0 M) on the viability of encapsulated bacteria were investigated. The viability of the cells in the microcapsules increased with an increase in alginate capsule size and gel concentration. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the viability of encapsulated cells when the concentration of calcium chloride was increased. Increase in cell load during encapsulation increased the number of bacterial survivors at the end of 3-h incubation in simulated gastric conditions. Hardening the capsule in calcium chloride solution for a longer time (8 h) had no impact on increasing the viability of encapsulated bacteria in a simulated gastric environment. The release of encapsulated cells at different phosphate buffer concentrations was also studied. When encapsulated L. acidophilus CSCC 2400 and L. acidophilus CSCC 2409 were subjected to low pH (pH 2) and high bile concentration (1.0% bile) under optimal encapsulation conditions (1.8% (w/v) alginate, 10(9) CFU/ml, 30 min hardening in 0.1 M CaCl(2) and capsule size 450 microm), there was a significant increase (p<0.05) in viable cell counts, compared to the free cells under similar conditions. Thus the encapsulation method described in this study may be effectively used to protect the lactobacillus from adverse gastric conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center