Edible films beat normal systems as flavour encapsulation

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

An edible film composed of fat and iota- carrageenans may outperform traditional fat-based carriers for flavours, says fundamental new research from France.

A range of ten flavours were encapsulated in the carrageenan-based film with good stability upon processing and good release properties, according to findings published in the Carbohydrate Polymers​.

“This study presents new understanding of the role of emulsion based edible films as a matrix able to encapsulate aroma compounds,”​ wrote the researchers, led by Frédéric Debeaufort from the University of Burgundy.

“Carrageenans films were possible encapsulating matrixes because they showed better performances for retention of more polar aroma compounds than the usual lipid supports,”​ they added.

Microcapsules are tiny particles that contain an active agent or core material surrounded by a shell or coating, and are now increasingly being used in food ingredients preparation. The technology can be used to deliver a host of ingredients - flavours, oils, peptides, amino acids, enzymes, acidulants, colours and sweeteners - in a range of food formulations, from functional foods to ice cream.

The technology is attracted growing interest because it can also decrease costs for food makers, particularly those using sensitive ingredients like probiotics, and by reducing the need for preservatives.

“In the food industry, flavours are often added to lipids, because of their affinity to hydrophobic phases,”​ explained the researchers. “Emulsified carrageenans films could represent a lipidic phase surrounded with a second layer consisted of hydrocolloids network, that is supposed to have good gases barrier properties,”​ they added.

Study details

The researchers, led compared the release of ten flavour compounds from the iota-carrageenan (Degussa Texturant Systems) edible film with release from a lipid matrix GBS (Danisco Bradbrand), which was also used in the film.

According to their findings, the edible iota-carrageenan films exhibited good emulsion stability and mechanical properties, and were significantly better at retaining flavour than the fat-only system.

“This study allowed the influence of both matrix and aroma compounds characteristics on flavour release to be investigated”​ wrote the researchers. “Carrageenans films were able to retain volatile compounds during film-process formation, and to release gradually with time,”​ they concluded.

Take home message

The research follows earlier findings by the same researchers that (Journal of Food Engineering ​Vol. 93, pp. 80-88) found that combining fat and iota- carrageenans could form edible films for flavour encapsulation.

Source: Carbohydrate Polymers
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2010.01.016
“Encapsulation of aroma compounds in biopolymeric emulsion based edible films to control flavour release”
Authors: E. Marcuzzo, A. Sensidoni, F. Debeaufort, A. Voilley

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