By Flora Serra
Agência FAPESP – Lactobacilli are live organisms that, when administered in the right quantity, prove beneficial to the digestive and immune systems. The problem is that these probiotic organisms are also sensitive to the acid in the stomach itself. Scientists at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas’ School of Food Engineering (FEA-Unicamp) have studied ways to protect lactobacilli during digestion so as to facilitate the beneficial effects of the bacteria.
One recent study carried out at the university showed that capsules of probiotics covered in whey protein withstand passage through the digestive tract. The study investigated the microencapsulation of Lactobacillus acidophilus and its application in the manufacture of probiotic foods.