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In this research, microcapsules based on low acyl gellan (LAG) and sodium alginate (SA) containing inulin were developed in order to assess its protective effect on the viability of Lactobacillus acidophilus under in vitro gastrointestinal conditions.The results showed that microencapsulated cells display significantly (P<0.05) higher resistance to simulated gastrointestinal conditions (SGIC) than free cells. Besides, the incorporation of inulin into the wall matrix resulted in improved survival after 5 h incubation in SGIC. These results represent an alternative to vehiculate probiotics in food, especially in solid food due to the size of the microcapsules. Therefore, these microcapsules can contribute to possible industrial applications in the development of new alimentary products.
Key words: Inulin, microcapsules, probiotic, simulated gastrointestinal conditions, sodium alginate, low acyl gellan.