Probiotics are fastidious organisms that are sensitive to their environment. Encapsulation significantly improves the viability of probiotics in both acidic dairy and non-dairy food products such as yoghurt, protein drinks, dairy/nut milks and fruit juices over the product shelf life. This creates opportunities for novel food products as dairy or non-dairy probiotic yoghurt products containing high counts of live probiotics. In vitro experiments show that encapsulation improves the viability of probiotics in simulated stomach conditions. The micron-sized microgels are also undetectable in the food.
The application of Progel encapsulated probiotics has been proven in food products. Launched in 2016, PERKii probiotic beverage is a unique product containing a Lactobacillus casei (in italics) strain with proven health benefits. PERKii is a fruit flavoured and non-dairy (Lactose and gluten-free) beverage with no added sugar (37 calories per 350 mL serve) and contains only natural colours and flavours. The product utilises the protective effects of encapsulation to maintain the viability of L. casei (in italics) and maintains about close to or over a billion CFU live L. casei (in italics) at the end of shelf life.