University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

  • Sawaminee Nualkaekul
  • Michael T. Cook
  • Vitaliy V. Khutoryanskiy
  • Dimitris Charalampopoulos
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)304-311
JournalFood Research International
Journal publication date1 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


The aim of this work was to compare alginate and pectin beads for improving the survival of Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium longum during storage in pomegranate and cranberry juice, and to evaluate the influence of various coating materials, including chitosan, gelatin and glucomannan on cell survival and on the size and hardness of the beads. In pomegranate juice, free cells of L. plantarum died within 4weeks of storage and those of B. longum within 1week; in cranberry juice both types of cells died within one week. Encapsulation within either alginate or pectin beads improved cell survival considerably, but coating of the beads with chitosan or gelatin improved it even further; coating with glucomannan did not have any positive effect. The double gelatin coated pectin beads gave the highest protection among all types of beads, as a final concentration of approximately 108CFU/mL and 106CFU/mL for both L. plantarum and B. longum was obtained after 6weeks of storage in pomegranate and cranberry juice, respectively. The good protection could be attributed to the very strong interaction between the two polymers, as measured by turbidity experiments, leading to the formation of a polyelectrolyte complex. It was also shown that the coating was able to inhibit the penetration of gallic acid within the beads, which was used in this study as a model phenolic compound with antimicrobial activity; this is a likely mechanism through which the beads were able to protect the cells from the antimicrobial activity of phenolic compounds present in both types of juices. Despite their good protective effect, the pectin beads were considerably softer than the alginate beads, an issue that should be addressed in order to increase their mechanical stability.

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