Naturally grown yeast cells offer encapsulated flavors that endure rigorous processes, such as high-shear mixing, high-temperature treatments, evaporation, boiling and extrusion.

The technology, developed by Fluid Technologies, Wigan, U.K., is named MICAP—Microencapsulated Ingredients to Create Amazing Products. Essentially, scientists “melt” the yeast membrane to increase its permeability and also to create a space inside the cell. Added flavorings diffuse into the yeast to form protected flavor droplets. Two barriers provide excellent protection: An outer cell wall composed of carbohydrates, and the inner, thinner fatty cell wall.

“The flavor is released by diffusional techniques—the cell needs to be moist and it needs to be in contact with a biological membrane, such as the tongue,” explains Gordon Nelson, Ph.D., technical director. “It will not break down before reaching the mouth. This results in a more intense flavor.”

A confocal micrograph highlights flavor droplets encapsulated inside yeast cell walls.
The natural, encapsulated flavors have no additives and are available in dry powders. Flavors include peppermint, spearmint, orange, lemon, mustard and onion oils, as well as herbs, garlic and vanilla. They can be used in applications such as soft drinks, dressings, sauces, marinades, chewing gum, cakes, coating and teas. The powders are encapsulated at high levels, 70% flavor by weight, compared to a more typical 30 or 40%. “The result is that as much as 75% less flavoring is needed in a formula. Many of our customers have gotten these results,” states Nelson.

For more information:
Gordon Nelson, research director, at (+011) 01942 722100
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