Supplier offers test methods specific to its encapsulated ingredients

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

AnaBio photo
AnaBio photo

Related tags R&D delivery systems encapsulation Testing

Encapsulation methods can skew test results if they are not properly accounted for in ingredients and/or finished product testing, a supplier cautions.

AnaBio Technologies, a micro encapsulation specialist based in Cork, Ireland, owns 13 patents on its micro encapsulation processes.  These use natural, food grade encapsulation layers to protect delicate bioactives during manufacture against environmental stresses like heat, acid, moisture, oxygen and to prevent subsequent degradation.

AnaBio was built on work done by founder Sinéad Bleiel, PhD on encapsulation strategies using whey protein.  Bleiel founded the company in 2011​ after studying at the Irish national dairy research center in Moorepark, in Cork. Bleiel has also studied at University College Dublin and Michigan State University. Bleiel’s work also extended to using plant based proteins for encapsulations.

Wide range of encapsulated products

The company advertises a range of encapsulated products, such as probiotics and sports nutrition ingredients such as caffeine, creatine and glutamine.  The company also offers a range of encapsulated antioxidant ingredients as well as encapsulated omega-3 oils.

Not only can AnaBio’s encapsulation strategies protect delicate bioactives, it can also extend their function, Bleiel said.  She said the company has data on how properly designed encapsulation shells can provide timed release in the digestive tract. This could be of particular benefit to athletes in endurance events, something that Bleiel has been familiar with as a triathlon competitor.

Aidan Fitzsimons, commercial director of AnaBio, said a potential issue with all of these is that it can complicate the testing of products using these ingredients if the encapsulation parameters are not accounted for.  A customer could certainly have documentation about inputs and how those equate to how much actual curcumin—to use one example—might be in the finished product.  But it might be a slender reed on which to rest if a third party raises questions after doing its own, possibly misinformed testing.

Specific test methods

That’s why AnaBio has formed a relationship with global analytical testing firm Covance to develop methods specific to its products, said Aidan Fitzsimmons, PhD, who is AnaBio’s commercial director.

“The micro encapsulation of bioactives brings a wide range of benefits.  But by its very nature it can interfere with the standard measure of those bioactives.  In the past a barrier to the use of these ingredients has been if people can’t measure them,” ​Fitzsimons told NutraIngredients-USA.

AnaBio has developed specific test methods for all of its encapsulated ingredients.  These methods have now been validated by Covance, he said, and are available to customers through Covance lab sites worldwide.

Bleiel said the new testing scheme will provide one stop shopping for customers and can save time in the product development phases.  Each of the company’s many encapsulated products has its unique features, and requires its own test.

“There is no lag time. We have already invested in the technology.  We can say, here’e the product, and here’s the reference if you need to go to Covance to get it tested,” ​she said.

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