Protecting the viability of encapsulated Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG using chocolate as a carrier
The novel probiotic encapsulation approaches in snacks have not been thoroughly investigated. This study examined the viability of encapsulated Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG using chocolate as a carrier. Various encapsulants, including cocoa powder, Na-alginate, fructooligosaccharides, whey protein concentrate, hi-maize starch and skim milk powder were tested using a freeze-drying technique. The encapsulation efficiency of L. rhamnosus reached 91.82% using cocoa powder and Na-alginate formulations. The encapsulated probiotic survived at thermal exposure maintaining more than 9 logs at 60°C. Chocolate was proven as a good carrier for encapsulated probiotic maintained viability above the therapeutic level (107 log) up to 180 and 120 days stored at 4°C and 25°C, respectively. Additionally, encapsulated L. rhamnosus in chocolate showed higher survival number (8.47 log cfu/g) at the end of gastrointestinal digestion. Hence, cocoa powder with Na-alginate as an encapsulation agent has potential applications in the development of healthy probiotic chocolate.
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