INFLUENCE OF EMULSIFICATION METHODS AND SPRAY DRYING PARAMETERS ON THE MICROENCAPSULATION OF TURMERIC OLEORESIN
Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) oleoresin possess valuable phenolic compounds that are susceptible to degradation, and microencapsulation is a powerful technique to increase its stability. Emulsification is a preponderant step in microencapsulation of hydrophobic compounds and physical-chemical properties of the parent emulsion affects effectiveness of spray-drying process and functional properties of the produced microcapsules. The present work aimed to evaluate the influence of emulsion formulation, emulsification methods, and spray-drying operational conditions on the encapsulation efficiency of turmeric oleoresin using maltodextrin/gelatin blends as wall material. The effects of different concentrations of maltodextrin (12 - 31.7 wt %) and gelatin (0.6 - 6 wt %), combined with three methods of emulsification - high shear homogenization with and without emulsifier addition, and sonication – were evaluated regarding emulsion droplet mean diameter and stability. Based on the results, an emulsion formulated with 26 g of maltodextrin and 0.6 g of gelatin per 100 g of emulsion was selected to study the influence of spray drying conditions - drying-air temperature (124 – 190 oC), atomization airflow (275 – 536 L h-1), and emulsion feeding flow (1.4 – 8.6 mL min-1) - on encapsulation efficiency, water content, and solubility of turmeric oleoresin microcapsules. Sonication resulted in higher emulsion stability and, although drying-air temperature did not affect significantly the microcapsule properties, the best set of spray drying conditions was drying-air at 160 ºC, atomization airflow of 420 L h-1, and emulsion feeding flow of 6 mL min-1. Combinations of higher atomization airflow and lower emulsion feeding flow resulted in lower values of curcumin encapsulation efficiency.
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