SBIR Phase I: Continuous Spray-Capture Production System
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
6430 Dobbin Road, Suite C, Columbia, MD, 21045
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
FC Thomas Allnutt
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop of a technology that allows the stabilization of live probiotic bacteria for incorporation into food systems outside the dairy case. A novel microencapsulation solution is proposed that involves pumping viscous liquids through a spray nozzle, followed by the capture of the resultant particles in a cross-linking fluid. Initial studies have indicated that particles of the correct size and consistency can be formed, and the viability of the on-board probiotic bacteria is acceptable. The manufacturing equipment, however, lacks a critical recycle component that will allow continuous operation rather than being limited to a batch process. The Phase I objective of this research is to establish the overall manufacturing process feasibility by closing this fluid recycle loop. Today, yogurt and other fermented milk products represent the only food source of probiotics. Stabilization of the probiotics and incorporation into nutritional bars, beverages, cereals, and other food products that do not require refrigeration will greatly expand the commercial potential, and choices for consumers who will benefit from these gut-friendly bacteria. The manufacturing technology proposed herein is an enabling technology that will open many new commercial opportunities for a number of industries.
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