Novel Edible Coatings Derived From Algae Deliver Good Bacteria Into Guts

Jun, 2022 - By SMI

Novel Edible Coatings Derived From Algae Deliver Good Bacteria Into Guts

Researchers developed probiotics with special edible coating that guarantees successful delivery of good bacteria into intestine when they are ingested

Live probiotic bacteria offer various health benefits when they are ingested, however, these microbes are required to get past the stomach and reach intestinal tract to be effective. Now researchers at Nanyang Technological University developed probiotics with special edible coating made from algae that efficiently delivers good bacteria into intestine when they are consumed.

Probiotics boost the immune system and lower inflammation and conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea can be treated with probiotics. However, when these bacteria are consumed through food they die within 30 minutes before they reach the stomach. Thus, the team of scientists cultivated Lacticaseibacillus probiotic bacteria and washed them in a solution of slat and coated them with alginate. This alginate is a non-toxic carbohydrate that is found in brown algae. The team added sugars to this alginate for protecting the bacteria during the coating process with calcium ions preventing degradation of the coating in fluid environments. Using a spray-dying method, the team turned the coated live bacteria into a powder that sustains itself for around eight weeks if it’s refrigerated.

Furthermore, the team tested this powder in simulation of human digestive tract where the coating protected the microbes until they reached the small intestine. When they reached the intestine, the naturally present phosphate ions in the intestines broke the coating and the bacteria were released. As per the team, the new technology is versatile as the coated probiotics can be used in various types of products such as dietary supplements, food and beverages, pills, and also in animal feed. The team is now working on the development on this delivery system of probiotics to enhance it further to be used with different types of beneficial bacteria.

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