Microencapsulation Services

As a leader in the development of probiotics, Creative Biolabs provides the most advanced facilities, capabilities, and rich expertise to accelerate the development of probiotics. Based on a variety of microencapsulation techniques, we provide high-quality microencapsulation services for probiotics including the design of microencapsulation products, process optimization, and production.

Introduction of Microencapsulation of Probiotics

Microencapsulation is a technique in which solid, liquid, or gas materials are encapsulated into microparticles with a diameter of 1-1000 μm. This technique is mainly used to increase the stability and life of the product being encapsulated, promote the manipulation of the product, and control its release in adequate time and space. It has been widely used in fields of medicine, cosmetics, food, textile, and advanced materials. In the case of probiotics, microencapsulation represents an effective and low-cost delivery system. Probiotics are a type of live bacteria that contribute to potential health benefits. However, the viability of probiotics may be substantially reduced during storage and gastrointestinal transit. Microencapsulation can be used to increase the resistance of probiotics to unfavorable conditions and maintain the viability of probiotics.

Gastrointestinal transit process and mucoadhesion of probiotics encapsulated in microgels/microcapsules or layer-by-layer (LbL) systems. Fig.1 Gastrointestinal transit process and mucoadhesion of probiotics encapsulated in microgels/microcapsules or layer-by-layer (LbL) systems. (Yao, 2020)

Materials Used for the Encapsulation

  • Alginate: Alginate is a linear heteropolysaccharide extracted from various species of algae. It consists of beta-D-mannuronic and alpha-L-guluronic acids. Calcium alginate has been widely used for the encapsulation of lactic acid- and probiotic cells due to its non-toxic, biocompatible, cheap, and simple.
  • k-Carrageenan: k-Carrageenan is a natural polymer used in the food industry. The probiotic cells are added to the polymer solution at a temperature range of 40-50 ℃. It is reported that the probiotic bacterial cells encapsulated in k-carrageenan are kept in a viable state.
  • Chitosan: Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide composed of glucosamine units. This material is used more as a coat rather than as a capsule. The probiotic bacterial cells are kept in a viable state in the colon when encapsulated in a coating of alginate and chitosan.
  • Starch: Starch is a polysaccharide that consists of a large number of glucose units held together by glucosidic bonds. It has been used as a material for the coating of alginate capsules. There are three types of starch for coating: high-amylose corn starch for increasing functions of capsule- or shell/coat formation; lyophilized corn starch used as capsule-forming material; resistant starch that is not digested in the small intestine by pancreatic enzymes.
  • Gelatin: Gelatin is a gum that either alone or in combination with some other compounds and has been applied for the encapsulation of probiotic bacteria. The coating of gelatin microspheres with alginate has been shown to provide significant protection for Bifidobacterium adolescentis 15703T from the harsh acidic conditions of simulated gastric fluid.
  • Cellulose acetate phthalate: Probiotic bacteria encapsulated in cellulose acetate phthalate exhibit an active state in the gastrointestinal tract. Cellulose acetate phthalate does not solubilize at acidic pH (i.e., less than 5) but solubilizes at a pH above 6, which is one of the main advantages of using this encapsulating material.
  • Milk proteins: Milk proteins include caseins, whey proteins, and milk fat globule membrane proteins. These proteins have been considered as a natural vehicle for encapsulation of probiotic bacteria owing to their multiple properties including high nutritional, good sensory properties, binding small molecules, pH-responsive gel swelling behavior, self-assembly, excellent gelation, and ability to interact with other polymers for the formation of complexes.

Technologies for Encapsulation

  • Emulsification Method
  • There are two types of emulsification: ionic gelification and enzymatic gelification. The hydrocolloids such as alginate, pectin, and carragenan are used for encapsulation of the probiotic cells by employing the method of ionic gelification. Milk proteins are used for encapsulation of the probiotic cells by employing the method of enzymatic induced gelation.

  • Atomization Method
  • There are two types of atomization methods: spray drying method and spray freeze drying method. In spray drying method, probiotic living cells are dissolved or suspended in a melt or polymer solution and become trapped in the dried particle. The main advantages of spray drying method are rapid and comparatively cheap. Spray freeze drying method combines freeze-drying and spray drying techniques. Probiotic cells to be spray freeze dried are dissolved in a solution and atomized into a cold vapor phase, resulted in the production of dispersion of frozen droplets. Then, the frozen droplets are dried. Compared to spray-dried capsules, this technique provides a controlled size and a larger specific surface area.

  • Extrusion method
  • Extrusion is a physical method that employs the use of hydrocolloids such as alginate and carrageenan for encapsulation. The probiotic cells dissolved in solution are microencapsulated by being projected through a nozzle at high pressure. This method is simple, inexpensive, and gentle. It does not damage the probiotic cells and provides probiotic with high viability.

Creative Biolabs has accumulated extensive experience in the development and manufacturing of next-generation probiotics. We integrate world-class facility and comprehensive expertise in the development of probiotics specializes in providing a widely full range of services for the development and manufacturing of next-generation probiotics. In the encapsulation of probiotics, we employ a variety of encapsulation methods such as extrusion, spray drying, and emulsification and various encapsulation materials such as milk proteins, gelatin, and starch to provide high-quality and low-cost services for encapsulation of probiotics. Our services ensure the in-time delivery of probiotics with high viability. If you are interested in microencapsulation services for probiotics, please contact us for more details.


  1. Yao, M.; et al. Progress in microencapsulation of probiotics: A review. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2020, 19: 857-874.

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