AnaBio Technologies LTD, an Irish food ingredient company has developed a novel “clean-label” micro-encapsulation probiotic brand, known as EnCaptimus™. Using only high quality, natural raw materials, such as dairy or vegetable proteins, micro-capsules laden with high levels of probiotics can be generated in a reproducible way for market and regulatory compliance. At AnaBio, we welcome the opportunity to serve your micro-encapsulation needs by using our EnCaptimus™ technology to protect and stabilise probiotics in a range of products. EnCaptimus™ acts as a barrier to the outside world, keeping friendly probiotic bacteria safe against heat, pressure, oxygen, light and various environmental stresses such as acid or alkaline conditions. When our micro-capsules reach their target site in the body, they gently release probiotics in a natural way, according to normal digestion processes and this helps probiotics to provide their benefit to mammals for better health and well-being.

Micro-encapsulation – what is it?

Micro-encapsulation is a novel, innovative, natural method that can be used to protect bacteria from the stresses of the world, specifically associated with production, storage and consumption. Micro-encapsulation is a process that surrounds a liquid, solid or a gas with a protective membrane. This provides a protective shield to ensure optimum utilisation of valuable ingredients. It can be used to produce tiny capsules, that require a microscope to visualise, containing living probiotics that can be included in food products without impacting product quality, taste or texture.

Microscope image of AnaBio’s encapsulated probiotics

 

Research at AnaBio

Our broad industry experience and application know-how solidifies AnaBio’s position as a leading global micro-encapsulation production and consultancy company. By mastering various techniques and methods, AnaBio has successfully micro-encapsulated >75 different active agents. AnaBio is experienced in handling products, from concept to commercialisation involving validation, pilot scale-up and commercial manufacture of finished ingredients in an economical and cost-efficient manner. Our research and manufacturing team has a proven track record of producing high quality results for bespoke commerical applications. AnaBio’s advanced research and development capabilities use numerous methods and technologies to strengthen our customer’s product applications. Even though we focus on manufacturing of bespoke micro-capsules, we have a fully functional Centre of Excellence and research laboratory to initiate the concept to commercialisation process. Using many creative micro-encapsulation techniques, we provide high quality micro-capsule production and research consultation services for a wide variety of customer needs.

Lactic acid bacteria

What are probiotics and their benefits?

The human gut is home to 100 Trillion micro-organisms, called intestinal microflora.  Some of these organisms, known as probiotics are good bacteria that support a healthier digestive and immune system. However other bacteria can be harmful to human health, our well-being and we need to avoid these “invaders” in our diet and daily lives. A robust and growing body of scientific evidence increasingly suggests that certain illnesses can be avoided or treated with probiotic bacteria. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines probiotic bacteria as “live microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) that when ingested or locally applied in sufficient numbers confer one or more specified demonstrated health benefits for the host”. The explosion of knowledge and research in the realm of the human microbiome has further fuelled this area of research. Probiotic bacteria must be alive and active in sufficient numbers when they reach their site of action (usually the systemic target of the mammal, the large intestine or colon) to benefit the consumer.

Microscope image of AnaBio’s encapsulated probiotics

 

What is the current industry trend?

Probiotics can be administered as a dietary supplement in the form of a pill or powder and can be incorporated into food products to increase their health benefits. Many probiotic products are refrigerated to keep the product alive. The sensitive and volatile nature of probiotic is the key factor responsible for this limited range of delivery formats and need for refrigerated storage.

What are the problems that need to be solved?

As probiotics must be alive and viable in sufficient numbers, their incorporation into food products is restricted, dependent on processing and shelf-life requirements of the final food product. Unfortunately, many manufacturing processes used in the food industry drastically affect the survival of these probiotics. Drying, heat and storage can lead to massive losses in the levels of living friendly bacteria. The stomach is a major hurdle to the successful delivery of probiotic bacteria, it is a very harsh acidic environment and is one of the bodies key defence mechanisms. It performs an important function, protecting the body from outside invaders however it also has a drastic effect on the survival of probiotic bacteria.

What does EnCaptimus™ protect against?

AnaBio has performed a plethora of experiments to validate the benefits of the EnCaptimus™ platform for probiotic bacteria. Thermal processing such as pasteurisation and Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) treatments are common place in the food industry, particularly with regard to liquid products. UHT processes target the nasty food spoilage and pathogenic bacteria while the ‘good’ bacteria are kept safe and sound. EnCaptimus™ allows for the inclusion of probiotics prior to heat-treatment due to the protective effect conferred by the micro-encapsulation process. Following inclusion in a liquid product, EnCaptimus™ micro-capsules remain intact and do not interfere with the product matrix. Using this process, the probiotics remain dry and dormant and do not interact with the food product, which increases shelf-life stability. This phenomenon broadens the portfolio of products that can be now fortified with probiotics (including liquid foods for ambient storage conditions and gummy products). EnCaptimus™ micro-capsules protect against:

  • Heat stress during product manafucture
  • Pressure during industrial processing
  • Extrusion during product formulation
  • Temperature stress during storage
  • High moisture content in final products
  • Stomach acid & enzymes

AnaBio’s protein matrices used for micro-encapsulation

 

How can EnCaptimus™ micro-encapsulation help probiotics?

The micro-encapsulation process used to generate EnCaptimus™  micro-capsules, helps to:

  • Extend/Improve probiotic stability during long shelf-life
  • Maintain probiotic viability during challenging / environmental conditions
  • Allow targeted, timed-release probiotic delivery for enhanced probiotic gut performance
  • Prevent unwanted ingredient interactions in a product i.e. iron vs. probiotic
  • Maintain nutritional value

How does EnCaptimus™ micro-encapsulation technology help manufacturers?

EnCaptimus™ has proven benefits for manufacturers including,

  • Novel, innovative, natural micro-encapsulation platform to enable clean label branding;
  • High efficiency and production precision to ensure regulatory compliance and accurate product dosing
  • Protective barrier against processing stress i.e thermally treated products (UHT)
  • Delivery of consistent, reproducible high yielding production process

What ingredient benefits does EnCaptimus™ provide for the end customer ?

EnCaptimus™ micro-capsules are

  • Natural, patented-protected, ingredients available in vegan friendly format
  • Versatile for a range of product applications include ambient shelf -stable liquids, gummies, bars, gels, baby foods, sports powders, fortified fruit trail mixes and waters
  • Kosher, Halal and organic status available if required
  • Tailored micro-encapsulation solutions built upon scientific expertise and backed by proven clinical data and regulatory certifications
  • Characterised by excellent powder properties to enable better blending in final end product applications
  • Highly stability ingredients with extended shelf-life for better transport and handling