Danisco working on encapsulation at new plant

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

Leading probiotics and ingredients firm Danisco has set up a pilot
plant to develop new methods for controlling release of nutritional
and functional ingredients in foods, writes Dominique
Patton.

The plant, based at its site in Grinsted, opened a few months ago and is expected to produce encapsulated products for the market before the end of the year.

Encapsulation allows manufacturers of food and beverages, as well as other consumer products, to add unusual ingredients to products not normally used in traditional processing. It can also decrease costs for food makers, particularly those using sensitive ingredients like probiotics, where overages are frequently used to guarantee shelflife, and also by reducing the need for preservatives.

Leis Kjaergaard, director of innovation at Danisco​, told NutraIngredients.com that the plant is currently testing functional ingredients but that the technologies could be applied across the board to all of its products, including emulsifiers, texturants and flavours.

"Many of our functional systems are to a certain degree already encapsulated but this is a unique process to ensure that we have a more uniform way of encapsulating all our products,"​ he said.

"We are developing a number of technologies that are not necessarily new but when applied for our purpose they get a new dynamic."

For example, it is looking at encapsulating soluble products in fat to stop them from dissolving immediately in solutions and to protect them from the heat during processing.

Demand for encapsulation technologies has been estimated to be growing at around 10 per cent, driven both by increasing fortification with health ingredients and consumer demand for novel products.

Kjaergaard said the firm has made a 'modest investment in the plant, worth a few million euros' but that it had plenty of capacity to react to increased demand for the new products.

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