Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - BIBAFOODS (Biopolymer Based FOOd Delivery Systems)

The aim of BIBAFOODS is to train young researchers in developing colloidal delivery systems to protect and deliver active components via foods, resulting in novel functional foods.

Materials and coatings can be made responsive to the external chemical conditions and therefore suitable for controlled releases targeted at a desired stage during food processing or at a specific point during digestion of the food, e.g., in the intestinal tract. In BIBAFOODS, this involved probiotic bacteria and enzymes that were liberated and allowed to be active in a controllable manner. The ultimate successful materials ensure stability of the active component during long-term storage prior to food production, during food production or during digestion, but at the same time liberate the active component at the right point. The behavior and interaction of the delivery systems were studied by simulation of gastric and intestinal conditions and by implementation in food production and formulation into probiotic products. The researchers trained in BIBAFOODS have obtained the skills necessary for the development of the sustainable food industry, and they acquired entrepreneurial competences crucial for creating biotechnological food oriented start-up companies.

The scientific work was organized in three work packages (WPs), WP1: Biobased delivery systems for enzymes, WP2: Biobased delivery systems aimed at probiotics and WP3: Stability, release and functionality. WP1 concerns different approaches to colloidal materials with the capability of taking up, containing and giving off enzymes. In this work package a wide selection of colloidal material was developed. This material was based on different components such as lipids, silica, inorganic minerals and even water in water emulsions. Nano particles made out of sponge phases of food emulsifiers was shown to take up enzymes of different sizes giving rise to dramatically enhanced stability as seen by prolonged enzyme activity. A concept of enzyme delivery with triggered release was developed based on nano-porous silica materials sealed with membranes of phospholipids to be opened by the natural enzymatic activity of the human digestion system. A concept for how proteolytic enzymes can be added to cheese milk without loss to whey was developed and based on milk components like caseins, calcium phosphate and glycomacropeptide. The novel enzyme containing particles was successfully shown to enhance the proteolytic activity in cheese curd.

The common subject of the WP2 activities was the making of materials for encapsulation of probiotic bacteria. Probiotic bacteria ultimately needs to be delivered to the intestine where they ferment food components and produce health promoting metabolites such as short chain fatty acids. Various concepts for probiotic encapsulation were developed. Bacteria were individually coated using bio-polymers using the layer-by-layer principle as well as embedded in gels that were further coated using protein and polymeric materials controlling the dissolution under gastric and intestinal conditions. A particular successful concept for probiotic delivery was developed based on nano-porous silica materials ensuring uptake of nutrition into the capsules for the living bacteria and at the same time protecting against the harsh conditions in a food matrix. The system was shown to successfully protect probiotic bacteria in harsh beverages such as orange juice and beer.

WP3 concerns characterization and methodologies for characterization of delivery systems. Two of the partners of BIBAFOODS operate the co-called SHIME model, which is a glassware, tubes and pump version of part of the human intestinal system. In BIBAFOODS the SHIME model has been used to establish a stable consortium of bacteria producing health promoting short chain fatty acids. The consortium was tested with success using the SHIME model and bacterial culture from a number of donors. The SHIME model was also used to test the effect of a synbiotic product (containing both probiotic bacteria and prebiotic fibers) on the gut microbiome and it was shown that depending on the donor the combined product showed advantages over the two separate products.

The SHIME model and other competing systems operate with large volume and are in some respects resource and time consuming to use. One of the BIBAFOODS subprojects is aimed at developing an easy and low volume in vitro upper gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) passage simulation model composed of five parallel-coupled units. This GIT model is developed and testing of formulations and delivery systems has begun as a part of the WP3 activities. The GIT model was for example used to test the effect of a bacteriophage targeting Escherichia Coli.

The scientific coordinator of BIBAFOODS is Associate Professor Jens Risbo, University of Copenhagen, The website of the BIBAFOODS project can be found at

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Life Sciences
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