Viability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG microencapsulated in alginate/chitosan hydrogel particles during storage and simulated gastrointestinal digestion: role of chitosan molecular weight
Sodium alginate hydrogel particles coated with cationic biopolymers have been shown to be one of the promising means for probiotic encapsulation and protection. In this study, we aimed to systematically explore the effect of molecular weight of chitosan coating on the functional performance of sodium alginate hydrogel particles for improving the viability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG). We first electrostatically deposited three different molecular weights of chitosan coatings, i.e., chitosan oligosaccharide (COS), low molecular weight chitosan (LMW-chitosan) and medium molecular weight chitosan (MMW-chitosan) on sodium alginate hydrogel particles. Both SEM and FTIR results indicated that chitosan was successfully deposited onto the surface of the hydrogel particles. We then evaluated the effect of chitosan MW on the viability of LGG encapsulated in the hydrogels during long-term storage and simulated gastrointestinal digestion. Among them, the hydrogel particles coated with COS prevented the viability loss of LLG during long-term storage at different temperatures (4, 25 and 37 °C). However, we did not find any improvement in the viability of the encapsulated LGG by all three chitosan coatings during simulated digestion.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Liquid Composites