Although certain yeasts are possibly more resistant to the harsh conditions of pelleting (heat, moisture & shear) it is believed that most are partially or fully inactivated during this process. Encapsulation in a protective matrix is the common approach to reduce or eliminate such inactivation.
2. What's the difference between freeze drying and spraying and why is spray drying encapsulation better?
Freeze drying is a process of removing water via sublimation of icy water: this means that one needs to first freeze the sample and then place the sample in the freeze dryer set at a very low pressure and low temperature so to remove the water by subliming (“evaporating”) the ice. This process takes usually 3 days to get a dried powder. Moreover, it is not easy to scale up. Spray drying is a process of drying the sample by spraying it through a nozzle into an air-heated chamber. The dried powder is immediately collected by means of a cyclone. Temperature may range between 85-120 degree Celsius depending on the nature and volume of solvent (water or alcohol) to be removed. It is a very rapid process and easy to scale up.
3. Is it possible to protect a specific active nutrient through the small intestine to become active in die hind gut?
Release of an active from a protective matrix can be triggered by various mechanisms. One example is pH-triggered release – where the matrix swells/disintegrates in a specific pH-range. If the target pH is known a system can be designed to release the active in the hind gut.
The nano-containers used for encapsulation is a natural aluminosilicate clay mineral, belonging to the subclass of phyllosilicates, known and often used as a mycotoxin-adsorbing or sequestering agent.
We have a patented probiotic encapsulation technology for which we sold a commercial licence for human health. We have done some initial work on a similar technology for animal health, which will be available for licensing to the private sector. However, we prefer to develop such technologies in collaboration with the private sector.