Probiotics are viable microorganisms widely used for their claimed beneficial effects on
the host health. A wide number of researchers proved that the intake of probiotic bacteria has numerous
health benefits which created a big market of probiotic foods worldwide. The biggest challenge
in the development of these products is to maintain the viability of bacterial cells during the storage
of the product as well as throughout the gastrointestinal tract transit after consumption, so that the
claimed health benefits can be delivered to the consumer. Different approaches have been proposed
for increasing the resistance of these sensitive microorganisms, including the selection of resistant
strains, incorporation of micronutrients, and most recently the use of microencapsulation techniques.
Microencapsulation has resulted in enhancing the viability of these microorganisms which allows its
wide use in the food industry. In this review, the most common techniques used for microencapsulation
of probiotics will be presented, as well as the most usual microcapsule shell materials.
Keywords: Coacervation, emulsion, extrusion, freeze drying, microencapsulation, probiotics, shell materials, spray drying,
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