Simple and double microencapsulation of Lactobacillus acidophilus with chitosan using spray drying

Isela A. Flores-Belmont, Enrique Palou, Aurelio López-Malo, María Teresa Jiménez-Munguía


The aim of this study was to evaluate the survival of Lactobacillus acidophilus that had been simple or double spray dried using chitosan to cause microencapsulation and which had been exposed to model gastrointestinal conditions. In addition, the study also determined the physicochemical properties of the powder containing the microencapsulated probiotic.

Chitosan-inulin or chitosan-maltodextrin (1:15 or 1:25) solutions were inoculated with 1012 cfu mL-1 of L. acidophilus, for simple microencapsulation. The different solutions were dried using a spray dryer with an inlet air temperature of 130°C and a solution flux of 4.8 g min-1. A two-step process was used for the double microencapsulation. In the first step, the probiotic was added to a gelatin-maltodextrin (1:25) solution and then spray dried; for the second step, the microencapsulated probiotic was added to a chitosan-inulin or chitosan-maltodextrin (1:25) solution and then it was spray dried again.

With the simple microencapsulated probiotic, a microbial reduction of 7 log cycles was obtained. With the double microencapsulated probiotic only 3 log reductions were achieved. The double microencapsulated probiotic thus demonstrated greater resistance to simulated gastrointestinal conditions. The powders produced were shown to have water activity values of 0.176 - 0.261 at 25 °C and moisture content of 0.8 – 1.0%, which are characteristic of spray dried products. The bulk density was significantly (p < 0.05) lower (300 kg m-3) for simple than for double (400 kg m-3) microencapsulated probiotic powders. Solubility and dispersibility of the powder microcapsules were better at lower pH values.

Double microencapsulation using a process of spray drying is therefore recommended for probiotics, thus exploiting chitosan’s insolubility in water, which can be applied for the of development food products.


encapsulation; probiotics; microcapsules; powder properties

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.