Microencapsulation of Vegetable Oil: Alternative Approaches Using Membrane Technology and Spray Drying

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Microencapsulation technology is a method that is widely used in the food industry. By comparing the latest encapsulation techniques, a significant number of publications concern membrane technology. The term “membrane- based encapsulation” entails that the first step of the technique is the preparation of emulsion with the help of microporous membranes. Generally, in microencapsulation technologies, the wall material is dissolved in a continuous phase and oil is dispersed within it. In the present investigation, a new method of preparing microcapsules composed of vegetable oil and maltodextrin was developed. In the first step, the wall material (maltodextrin) was dissolved in oil and considered as a dispersed phase, subsequently, it was introduced into a continuous phase (water) through a microporous membrane. A comparative study was conducted between conventional microencapsulation techniques and one developed in our laboratory. The average particle size of microcapsules prepared by our method is smaller than the size allowed by other methods. After encapsulation preparation, fine-tuned microcapsules were produced by spray drying. However, the main disadvantage of our proposed technology is rapid membrane fouling, because of high concentrations of solute in the dispersed phase. This problem can be eliminated by judicious and systematic investigations.

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