Keywords: Dunaliella salina; microalgae; β-carotene; spray-drying; cis/trans isomers; microencapsulation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Powders of Dunaliella salina biomass were obtained by spray drying a cell concentrate under different drying regimes. A three-factor, two-level experimental design was employed to investigate the influence of inlet temperature, outlet temperature and feed solids on β-carotene recovery. The effect of microencapsulation in a polymer matrix of maltodextrin and gum arabic was also studied. All powders were stored under specific conditions to assess the stability of the native β-carotene. There was a trend indicating that lower outlet temperature yielded higher carotenoid recoveries, β-carotene recovery varying between 57% and 91%. Microencapsulated biomass yielded 100% recoveries. All non-microencapsulated powders were unstable in terms of β-carotene content in the presence of natural light and oxygen showing 90% degradation over a 7-day period. The incorporation of a microencapsulating agent had a significant increase in the storage stability. Results indicated a first-order degradation of the β-carotene in microencapsulated powders with kinetic constants of 0.06 day−1 and 0.10 day−1. HPLC analysis showed no effect of drying processes on isomer composition (9-cis-β-carotene and all-trans-β-carotene ratio). This behaviour was also observed during storage of the microencapsulated powders.
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