SURVIVABILITY OF ENTRAPPED Lactobacillus rhamnosus IN LIQUID- AND GEL-CORE ALGINATE BEADS DURING STORAGE AND SIMULATED GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS
L. rhamnosus cells were encapsulated in liquid-core (LCBR) and gel-core (GCBR) calcium alginate beads, and cell survivability under storage conditions and simulated gastrointestinal conditions were evaluated, and compared with that of non-encapsulated cells. The average external diameters of both beads (1.37 ±0.25 mm) were non-significantly different, and the average thickness of alginate gelled layer in LCBR was of 0.27 ±0.01 mm. The bacteria entrapped into LCBR tended to gather together forming clusters in the bulk of the liquid phase of the bead, whereas the bacteria entrapped into GCBR were compartmentalized in the gelled bead biopolymer matrix. LCBR showed significant lower hardness and chewiness, higher cohesiveness, and comparable springiness values than GCBR. Cells survivability under storage and simulated gastrointestinal conditions was significantly higher in LCBR than in GCBR and for the non-encapsulated free cells
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