CORDIS - EU research results

Unlocking the potential of thermo-sensitive bioactive ingredients through a disruptive encapsulation method

Project description

Encapsulated functional foods with longer life at lesser expense

Functional foods provide health benefits beyond the provision of essential nutrients. They are massively consumed with a generated revenue anticipated to grow by 50 % through 2022. Most of the bioactive ingredients in these are highly vulnerable, marking a serious challenge for assuring their integrity and bioavailability. To protect them, most are usually encapsulated, entailing high production costs. The EU-funded project CAPSULTEK provides an innovative technology called electrospraying assisted by pressurised gas, which encapsulate any kind of molecule, enhancing its stability and extending its shelf-life. First-line food companies have already expressed interest in it, foreseeing an EUR 8 million profit by the fifth year of its commercialisation.


Functional foods provide additional health benefits beyond its nutritional value by adding certain bioactive ingredients to its basic formulation, like Omega-3, probiotics or vitamins.
They are massively consumed, being a long-lasting megatrend in food industry, started in the 80’s, and currently living its best moment. Their generated revenue will grow by 50 % until 2022. 1 out of 4 new food products launched have a functional claim. So, global food industries are eager to increase their functional food products portfolio due to its high consumers’ acceptance, potential for deploying new markets, and higher added value.
However, most of these bioactive ingredients are easily vulnerable (prone to oxidation, thermolabile…), so, there is a challenge in assuring their integrity and bioavailability when introducing them in food products (complex matrix!). To protect them they are usually encapsulated.
Most encapsulation methods work at high temperature damaging the ingredients. Moreover, most methods are energy-intensive, and entail high production costs.
In Bioinicia we are experts in nanoencapsulation, and we have developed CAPSULTEK: an innovative own-developed technology called Electrospraying Assisted by Pressurized Gas of which we have a 1 t/year prototype.
With our technology we can work at room temperature, encapsulate any kind of molecule, enhance its stability and extend its shelf-life. Besides, industrially-wise, we can scale it up to reach industrial volumes, to reduce encapsulation costs by 40% and to increase concentration bioactive ingredients by 50%.
We need Ph.2 to reach market readiness. We will build an industrial demo plant of 10 tonnes/year and will optimize the processing parameters for Omega-3 and probiotics. We have designed a bold and effective highly scalable business model to make the most of CAPSULTEK. First-line food companies have already stated their interest on it, and we foresee an 8 M€ profit by the fifth year of its commercialization.

Call for proposal


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Funding Scheme

SME - SME instrument


Net EU contribution
€ 689 543,75
46980 Paterna

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Este Comunitat Valenciana Valencia/València
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 985 062,50