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Microencapsulation

Microencapsulation is used for protection, stabilization, and slow release of food ingredients. This technique allows for many reactive, sensitive, and volatile ingredients to be turned into more stable ones. Various techniques are employed to form microcapsules, including spray drying, spray chilling or spray cooling, extrusion coating, fluidized-bed coating, liposome entrapment, coacervation, inclusion com- plexation, centrifugal extrusion, and rotational suspension separation (Goud and Desai, 2005).

Encapsulation is an important approach to meeting all demands by delivering bioactive food components at the right time and right place. Benefits of microencapsulation include the following: [1]

Most consumers today demand to know exactly what they are introducing into their bodies, and there is strong interest in more transparent labels (“Clear label leads top 10 trends for 2015" 2014). Following this trend, many industries are opting for clean labels. Various food chains in the United States have published lists of colors, flavors, sweeteners, and food preservatives that have already been removed or will be removed in a short time from the food products they produce.

Clean labels are closely linked with trends of consuming a genuine, simple, and natural food manufactured with high-quality ingredients. Clean labeling has strong appeal for the concepts such as quality, trust, and transparency.

According to data from Innova Market Insights, recent consumer research shows that almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers agree that it is important that most of the ingredients on a food label are things they recognize and would use at home. And more than one-quarter (28%) claim that clean labeling is a factor that influences their purchasing decisions when shopping for foods or beverages across all categories. From 2009 to 2014, a total of 35% of dietary supplements launched in Western Europe had a clean label claim. Despite economic challenges in many European markets, consumers are showing a willingness to pay more for clean label food supplements.

Nowadays, also, “free-from” products are booming. These trends are often dictated by reasons of health (intolerances or allergies), ethics, and religion. Sometimes, however, the requests are simply in line with trends: Many consumers hope to reach results such as well-being and good physical shape in a short time and with minimal effort, and they are following current fads that suggest that going gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar- free, for example, can get them there. For all of these reasons, there is a large market for meat-free, egg-free, gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, color-free, and preservative-free products. Often, these requirements are in contrast with the request of “clean label.” For example, gluten-free formulations generally require the addition of thickening agents like xanthan and guar gums to replace the gluten proprieties in the dough. If we want to make a mayonnaise sauce without eggs, we have to add a blend of emulsifiers and stabilizers.

  • [1] Protection of various actives against evaporation, chemical reactions, or migrationin food • Controlled delivery • Preservation of stability of the bioactive compounds during processing and storage • Prevention of undesirable interactions with other components in food products • Masking unpleasant feelings during eating (Nedovica et al., 2011)
 
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