Article

Effect of lecithin on viability and stability of probiotics

Article

Effect of lecithin on viability and stability of probiotics

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Recent advances in probiotic research have finally confirmed the health benefits of some probiotic bacterial strains. In addition to their application to dairy products, probiotic bacteria are now being applied to new food products including fermented cereals, infant formulae and therapeutic foods. It is very important to be able to enhance the stability of probiotic bacteria both in old and new applications in order to expand their new uses and also to guarantee minimum effective doses for particular products.
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In recent years, entrapment of cells within spheres of Ca2+ alginate has become the most widely used technique for immobilizing living cells. This versatile method includes applications ranging from immobilization of living or dead cells in bioreactors, immobilization of plant protoplasts for micropropagation and immobilization of hybridoma cells for production of monoclonal antibodies, to entrapment of animal cells for implantation of artificial organs. This review evaluates the potential of this method on the basis of the current knowledge of structural and functional relationships in alginate gels.