For a long time, the food industry has been using bioactive materials such as microorganisms and various particles as facilitators of food and alcoholic fermentation (for the production of cheeses, beers, wines etc.) and as food additives that change flavour, colour and/or odour of products. Growing consumers' interest in their health and, particularly, in foods capable of preventing/curing illnesses (functional foods) has made bioactive materials even more important for the industry. But the challenge has always been to control their concentration and behaviour during production processes and in final products, as those microorganisms and various active particles lack long-lasting operational stability, have a short shelf life and are difficult to recover and reuse.
A team of scientists from the northwestern Poland that specialises in the immobilisation technologies, i.e. in technologies that prevent cells, bacteria etc., from moving and fix them to a place where they are required, has found and is offering a solution to the problem - a method of encapsulating and immobilising bioactive materials. It entails binding microorganisms with a carrier and closing in a microcapsule which imitates natural biological membrane to restrict their free movement, while providing access to nutrients and, at the same time, an outflow of waste products. As all the components have no chemical additives, capsules are eatable. The offered method is environmentally friendly and safe for people. Moreover, it is based on typical industrial methods, which makes it economically beneficial and 100% operative.
The scientists would like to see their technology implemented and further developed. Therefore they are offering partnerships under either licensing or technical cooperation agreement to companies from the food industry and R&D institutions, respectively. A licensee will be responsible for introducing the technology to its production processes with the assistance of the scientists if required (they have experience in that respect, supporting industrial implementations of their other technologies). Under the technical cooperation agreement, a partner is expected to provide the expertise that will help improve the technology.
Advantages & innovations
- the offered technology has been tested and is 100% operative,
- it is bio-based, safe and natural,
- the technology allows controlling the behaviour of a bioactive material through custom-designed membranes of the microcapsule (e.g. their mechanical strength and porosity),
- pH from 3,0 to 8,0 is possible,
- moreover, the team of scientists has experience in the implementation of numerous similar projects and has been cooperating with the industry for over 10 years
Stage of development
Available for demonstration
- Type of partner sought: companies from the food industry (manufacturers of food and beverages);
- Role of partner sought: to buy a license for the technology and introduce it to the production process.
Technical cooperation agreement:
- Type of partner sought: R&D institutions;
- Role of partner sought: to collaborate with the scientists on further development and improvements of the technology.