Multilayer Bixin Microcapsules: The Impact of Native Carbohydrates on the Microencapsulation Efficiency and Dispersion Stability

Cecilia K. Curi-Borda, Javier A. Linares-Pastén, Tuba Tat, Rosmery Tarqui-Dueñas, Ninoska Chino-Flores, Juan Antonio Alvarado, Bjorn Bergenstahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Bixin is a hydrophobic carotenoid present in the integument of the seeds of Bixa orellana. Microencapsulation was applied to obtain water dispersible formulations and protect the colorant against degradation. Microencapsulated systems were obtained by spray-drying a mild alkaline bixin dispersion with different encapsulating materials. The encapsulation trials were performed with and without native carbohydrates of the integument in addition to the main encapsulant. It was possible to dry dispersions with up to 10% bixin counted on total solids. All the studied systems were characterized by colorimetry, UV-vis spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, light microscopy, turbidometric sedimentation analyses and laser light diffraction analyses. All the systems showed aqueous dispersibility but displayed differences in their transparency, UV-vis spectra and physical stability at pH 3. The results show that the native carbohydrates enhance the encapsulation efficiency of other encapsulating materials. The chemical composition of this native carbohydrate fraction shows the presence of polysaccharides containing arabinose, galactose and glucose as monomers. Starch was identified enzymatically. The native carbohydrates allowed the encapsulation of bixin in its native microcrystalline form, resulting in a multilayer structure after spray-drying. In addition, the colorant particles displayed dispersibility under acidic aqueous conditions suggesting that they are stabilized by the native carbohydrates after the microcapsules are dissolved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: We thank the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA for financial support, under the SIDA-UMSA Cooperation Agreement and cooperation between LU and UMSA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Aqueous dispersion
  • Bixin
  • Encapsulation efficiency
  • Hemicellulose
  • Physical stability
  • Spray drying
  • Starch


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