Heat Stability & Shelf life


This research was carried out on Microencapsulation with scCO 2 technology to demonstrate the extended shelf life provided by Velobiotics™ (Microencapsulated Probiotics).

The  probiotic industry faces the challenge of  retention of probiotic culture viability as numbers of these cells within their products inevitably decrease over time. In order to retain probiotic viability levels above the therapeutic minimum over the duration of the product’s shelf life, various methods have been employed, among which encapsulation has received much interest.

The microparticles produced through  Velobiotics™ encapsulation protected the bacteria in simulated gastrointestinal fluids.

This study reports on accelerated shelf life studies of PVP:PVAc-CA encapsulated Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 and Bifidobacterium longum Bb46. Samples were stored as free powders in glass vials at 30 _C for 12 weeks and then analyzed for viable counts and water activity levels weekly or fortnightly.

Water activities of the samples were within the range of 0.25–0.43, with an average aw = 0.34, throughout the storage period. PVP:PVAc-CA interpolymer complex encapsulation retained viable levels above the recommended minimum for 10 and 12 weeks, for B. longum Bb46 and B. lactis Bb12, respectively, thereby extending their shelf lives under high storage temperature by between 4 and 7 weeks.

One of the primary challenges with most Probiotics is the degradation of live bacteria at room temperatures during storage in the pharmacy. This results in  lower than expected load of CFU (Colony Forming Units) that is meant to confer a health benefit.

The viability of the microorganism is defined as the number of viable and active cells per gram or ml of probiotic food or supplement at the moment of consumption. The importance of this number is because it determines the medicinal efficacy of the probiotic bacteria.

Therefore in order to maintain high consumer confidence in probiotic bacteria being consumed, it is important to ensure high survival rate of bacteria during production as wells as over the product shelf life. 

Improving the viability of probiotic bacteria in different food products until the time of consumption has been the subject of many studies and innovations.

Supercritical CO2 interpolymer complex encapsulation improves heat stability of probiotic bifidobacteria

M. S. Thantsha • P. W. Labuschagne •C. I. Mamvura


  • Microencapsulation appreciably improved viability of bifidobacteria at 30 degrees Celcius over the test period.
  • Velobiotics™ therefore allows the  supply of a stable probiotic formulation in areas where proper storage, refrigeration or degradation at room temperature is common.

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