PRINT ISSN 2285-5718, CD-ROM ISSN 2285-5726, ISSN ONLINE 2286-0126, ISSN-L 2285-5718


Published in AgroLife Scientific Journal, Volume 3, Number 1
Written by Petru ALEXE, Cristian DIMA

In the food industry, encapsulation process greatly contributed to the development of functional foods. Functional foods are defined as being the foods that in addition to nutrients, supply the organism with components that contribute to cure the diseases, or to reduce the risk of developing them. Thus, functional foods can contain bioactive components such as: vitamins, peptides, minerals, fatty acids, poly-unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, lycopene, antioxidants, enzymes and living cells such as probiotics. The extreme sensitivity of many of these desired compounds leads to their deterioration, at conditions prevailing during food processing and storage, and thus significantly compromises our capability to incorporate them into foods. In this context, encapsulation of food ingredients are made: to protect the bioactive components against the some physical-chemical agents (temperature, pH, moisture, enzymes, oxygen, redox potential, UV light) during the storage; to prevent the reaction of bioactive componentsonents with other components in food products; for masking the bad tasting or smelling; to prevent the evaporation and degradation of volatile active components; to promote the conversion of liquid active compounds into a powder; to assure the controlled release of biocompounds etc. This paper aims to provide a short overview of commonly used processes to encapsulate food active components.

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