Extensive effort has been directed in recent years toward controlling the release of active ingredients in foods and beverages to prolong their shelf life and the sensation of flavors in the mouth during consumption. Various methods and compositions have been described for providing enhanced stability and better control of the release of active ingredients and flavors in food products. This article describes various encapsulation methods and shows how a novel encapsulation system overcomes their…

Fig. 1—How the controlled-release encapsulation system works. Nanospheres (blue) containing an active ingredient (purple) are encapsulated with other ingredients such as flavors, cooling or heating agents, or sweeteners, within a microsphere (yellow). Upon exposure to water or pH, the microsphere releases its contents, and over an extended period of time the nanospheres release the encapsulated active ingredient via molecular diffusion and enzymatic degradation by lipase. The surface properties of the nanospheres (shown as squiggly lines) can be altered to be bioadhesive or negatively or positively charged depending on the intended target site.

Fig. 2—Typical DSC-TGA chromatogram shows that the encapsulated flavor is retained up to 160°C, where degradation of the moisture-sensitive microspheres begins.

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