Background and Objective: Increasing survivability of probiotics in low pH juices and in gastrointestinal conditions is important for probiotic food industry. Nanofibers can reinforce the structure of entrapment matrices protecting probiotics in harsh conditions. This study investigated pectin-based bionanocomposites improved with nanochitin, nanolignocellulose and bacterial nanocellulose to introduce a prebiotic gastrointestinal-resistant matrix for enhancing the survival of Bacillus coagulans as a probiotic.
Material and Methods: The bionanocomposites with various compositions were designed using mixture design method. These were fabricated based on cross-linking of calcium ions with pectin for entrapment of Bacillus coagulans. The survivability of probiotic was evaluated at 4°C or 25°C over a 5-week storage in peach juice and under simulated gastrointestinal conditions.
Results and Conclusion: The prebiotic score of the pectin-nanochitin-nanolignocellulose (50:25:25% w w-1) was determined as 1.36. The survivability of Bacillus coagulans entrapped within the pectin-nanochitin-nanolignocellulose matrix was ~65% under gastrointestinal treatment. The surface structure of the matrix was relatively smooth coherent, compact and wrinkled due to the three-dimensional arrangement of the nanofibers of chitin and lignocellulose incorporated within pectin. The highest survivability of the entrapped bacteria was ~68% compared to the survivability of the free cell (~53%) at the end of 5-week storage period. After 21 day storage in the juice, the survivability of the entrapped bacteria treated under sequential digestion was ~58% as compared to that of the free cell (~43%). The present findings proposed a promising prebiotic matrix to protect probiotics in low pH fruit juice and the gastrointestinal tract.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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