Probiotic Encapsulation Technology for Long-Term Storage and Protection in Stomach Acid


Chemicals - Bio
Life Sciences - Agriculture & Aquaculture
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This cell encapsulation technology is unique, versatile, and can be applied for a wide range of applications. It enables encapsulation of probiotics (bacteria and yeast) in natural cellulose capsules.

The membranes of the capsules are permeable, allowing for free diffusion of nutrients/growth media across the membrane into the capsules, and the release of any bio-factors produced by the encapsulated probiotics. As a result, the probiotics can grow, fill-up and remain viable inside the capsules. This enables very high cell-to-capsule material ratio and is one of the main advantages over other technologies.

This bioencapsulation has a significant potential for delivering probiotics. Importantly, encapsulation of probiotics provide a very high degree of protection from stomach acid and bile juices. The end product can be freeze-dried, leading to high viability of probiotics during extended shelf storage and transportation. The freeze-dried product can be readily rehydrated to reactivate the encapsulated probiotics without any damage to the capsule integrity. These probiotic capsules can be used for various sectors including food additives, nutraceuticals, wellness, animal feed, agriculture, cosmetics etc.

The technology provider is seeking partners who have interests in this bioencapsulation technology for food/feed and topical grade encapsulated probiotic products.


This technology consists of microparticles containing prokaryotic cells. Each capsule (0.5 - 1mm) is seeded with a few hundred probiotic cells, which can be cultured under optimal growth conditions. Upon capsule filling-up due to cell growth, each capsule will contain millions of probiotics.

For probiotics-based capsules, both aerobic and anaerobic strains of bacteria or yeast can be encapsulated. The capsules shield encapsulated probiotics from low pH gastric acids and bile juices that are detrimental for their survival enroute to their gastrointestinal microbiome destination. Oral ingestion of these capsules can therefore target and deliver high viable counts of probiotics to the intestines. These capsules can be freeze-dried and stored at room temperature for transportation/long-term storage. The freeze-dried capsules can be rehydrated to restore the full metabolic activity of the encapsulated probiotics.

Using a proprietary decapsulation solution, the capsule membrane can be dissolved to release the probiotics alive for testing and QC assays.


Applications of capsules containing probiotics

  • Food industry and Nutraceuticals

As these capsules protect encapsulated probiotics from low pH gastric acids, high viable counts of probiotics are delivered to intestines which efficiently colonise gut and provide sustained benefits to the host. This far outweighs the benefits achieved by currently available daily oral probiotic supplements.

  • Farming and Aquaculture

Encapsulated aerobic and anaerobic probiotics in freeze-dried form can be stored/transported at ambient temperature during supply chain, lowering the product costs and increasing effectivity. In addition, the capsules shield the probiotics from gastric conditions and other environmental factors that the probiotics are exposed to during use. Lower doses of probiotics have been shown to be required in field studies in ruminants compared to other unencapsulated liquid form products. For aquaculture, capsules are optimally sized for uptake by shrimp and have the correct structure and components for release in the gut. Several commercially relevant fish and shrimp pond diseases can be targeted by probiotics delivery.

  • Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals

Capsules containing probiotics with cosmetic potential can be incorporated in various products such as soap/body wash/serums and creams. The material of the capsules is approved and listed in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients.

  • Bioremediation

Capsules encapsulated with bacteria able to provide remediation functions such as carbon sink can be readily applied in environmental situation, and then easily removed from location again if needed.

Unique Value Proposition

  • For bacteria and yeast, the capsules can be freeze-dried and re-hydrated without any damage to the capsules.
  • Capsules enable very high degree of protection from stomach acid and bile juice
  • Capsules enable extended storage possibilities due to higher stability and viability over time
  • Capsules can be dissolved to release cells alive for testing and QC assays
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