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Matrix Encapsulation

Matrix Encapsulation: Conversion of Liquids and very fine Powders into Granulates or Powders


Oils and very fine Powders

Process Technology: Matrix Encapsulation

Matrix encapsulation of liquids and powders with the aid of fluidised-bed spray granulation is the technology of choice to convert such materials into free-flowing granulates or powders.

The precursor to be encapsulated is either emulsified in an aqueous solution (oils), put into suspension (powder), or dispersed in a melt of the encapsulating medium (powder), and then spray-dried or frozen.

This results in a powder or granulate with a flexible choice of particle size between 20 µm and 5,000 µm; this is achieved:

  • either by drying the external aqueous phase containing the dissolved matrix material, in the case of an aqueous emulsion or suspension
  • or by the solidification of a melt emulsion or suspension

The lipophilic liquid droplets enclosed in the granulate have, as a rule, an average diameter in the order of 1 µm. The liquid loading can be up to 50%.

Matrix encapsulation provides the enclosed liquid droplets with effective protection against oxidation (e.g. for omega-3 fish oils) and prevents direct contact with other components of a formulation where incompatibility would be troublesome (e.g. where there is a bleaching, reducing or oxidising agent). It enables the controlled release of specific liquid or solid reagents (e.g. silicone anti-foaming agents, aromas and flavours) with the dissolution of a complex powder formulation in a “controlled-release” or “slow-release” mechanism.

Results and Advantages of Matrix Encapsulation

  • Free flowing granulates with up to 50% liquid loading
  • Gentle treatment of sensitive components
  • Protects particles from external influences
  • Protects particles from internal incompatibilities
  • Specific “controlled-release” and “slow-release” mechanisms
  • Improved storage stability