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Evaluation of food structure, functionality and digestibility: protein/polysaccharide mixtures for encapsulation

This project aims to stabilise essential micronutrients using a technology called encapsulation to ensure their intact delivery to the target sites in gastro-intestinal tract. Bioactive compounds such as vitamins, fatty acids and plant polyphenols have known beneficial effect on human health. Folic acid (vitamin B9) is a hydrophilic vitamin, which plays an important role in cardiovascular health, the nervous system and fetal development. Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) is lipophilic i.e. insoluble in water, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids (ω-3) are important for the maintenance of health due to their beneficial effects. Plant-based polyphenol such as quercetin also have several health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties. However, all these compounds are highly unstable when in the presence of light, oxygen and heat, which can prevent their application in food. One method to overcome these hurdles is to apply a technique called encapsulation, which protects them against these factors. In this project we will develop innovative methods of the encapsulation suitable for application in nutritional products for different population groups’ namely infants (infant formula), athletes (sports nutrition) and elderly (nutritional supplements).

Project Duration: 36 months

  • Outgoing Phase (18M) - The Technical University of Berlin, Germany
  • Return Phase (18M) - Teagasc, Ireland

Collaborating Institutions:

  • Teagasc, Ireland
  • The Technical University of Berlin, Germany
  • EncapProcess, France

Project Team: 

  • RL2025 Fellow - Dr Talita Aline Comunian
  • Teagasc Supervisor - Dr André Brodkorb, Teagasc, Ireland
  • Outgoing Phase Host Supervisor - Dr Stephan Drusch, The Technical University of Berlin, Germany
  • Third Supervisor - Dr Denis Poncelet, EncapProcess, France

Download the Project Factsheet

RL2025_BioCompCAPS Factsheet