Alginate and chitosan functionalization for micronutrient encapsulation

Jaejoon Han, Anne Sophie Guenier, Stéphane Salmieri, Monique Lacroix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


A new method for encapsulation of micronutrients was successfully developed. The encapsulation matrix consisted of two polymers (alginate and chitosan), which were functionalized by acylation with palmitoyl chloride. The structural modifications of polymers were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Beads were formed by ionic gelation, and their mechanical and physical characteristics (puncture strength and deformation, viscoelasticity, water vapor permeability, and rate of gel swelling) were evaluated using beads or films made of bead-forming solutions. Functionalization increased elasticity and water impermeability of polymer films. Stability of selected encapsulated micronutrients (ferrous fumarate, ascorbic acid, and β-carotene) was also evaluated under two levels of temperature (23 and 45°C) and relative humidity (56 and 100%) for 6 months. Encapsulation strongly increased the stability of micronutrients. No difference was observed in the encapsulated micronutrients' stability between nonfunctionalized and functionalized beads. Finally, a release study in gastrointestinal media was conducted. Results showed that beads were not susceptible to enzymatic and acidic attacks during stomach transit. This research demonstrates the potential of a new encapsulation method to protect bioactive molecules from temperature, moisture, and acidic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2528-2535
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr 9
Externally publishedYes


  • Acylation
  • Alginate
  • Chitosan
  • Controlled release
  • Encapsulation
  • FTIR
  • Micronutrients
  • SEM
  • Stability
  • Whey protein isolate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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