Microencapsulation, technology with great potential for the industry

June 13th, 2016

The applications of the microencapsulation have been unveiled at the innovation conference: Innovative products with advanced properties: Microencapsulation organized by AINIA in Barcelona.

This innovative technique makes it possible to isolate an active principle, vitamin, mineral, enzyme or essential oil from the environment that surrounds it, avoiding its degradation or reaction with other substances, controlling its release rate or modifying its properties.

Thus, it is possible to incorporate it into the final product through a process of coating active substances from which microcapsules are obtained, which allow protecting said substances from external environmental factors, such as extreme temperatures or light, preventing their deterioration and allowing prolonged release over time. of nutrients, aromas, active ingredients, flavorings, antimicrobials, etc.

This process, which offers a multitude of opportunities to industrial sectors as diverse as pharmaceuticals, food, biotechnology, packaging, agriculture or the sector of additives, ingredients and food supplements, is decisive when working with high-value substances or when it is necessary to enter exact doses of an ingredient, additive or active principle.

Among the possibilities offered by this technological procedure most used by the industry, the following stand out: obtaining new enriched or functional foods such as vitamins or antioxidants, or a new generation of natural additives from the use of agri-food by-products. In addition, it makes it possible to obtain new biofertilizers, natural pesticides, eliciters and agricultural biocontrol agents. Also to improve the properties of materials and packaging and to design new cosmetic products and more natural drugs.

With the application of this technology it is possible, for example, to mask or lengthen the duration of aromas and fragrances in food, drugs, cosmetic or cleaning products; building materials that regulate temperature and paints with anti-humidity additives or insect repellants.

The effectiveness of nanotechnology has been widely recognized in different sectors. Among the still incipient applications is the obtaining of encapsulated nano-ceuticals, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the dosage and / or administration of nutraceuticals and bioactive compounds in functional foods, enhance health or favor the generation of new products.

Regarding food applications, the most promising are aimed at the development of new functional ingredients seeking to increase the absorption and bioavailability of nutrients and healthy supplements, improve the taste, color, flavor, stability and / or consistency of food and even develop new packaging Active, smart and functional with improved mechanical and antimicrobial properties.

AINIA has been working with microencapsulation technologies and their applications for more than ten years, from the pilot prototype level to industrial scaling. In addition, AINIA has the experience to generate nanoencapsulates from different technologies.

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