Microencapsulation of curcumin by spray drying and freeze drying
Curcumin is a natural pigment with health benefits and potential uses in food and pharmaceutical products, but its application is limited by its insolubility and instability. This study was to examine the effect of spray drying and freeze drying methods, as well as 12 combinations of ternary-composite wall materials, on microencapsulation efficiency (MEE), physicochemical properties (including particle size distribution, morphology, moisture content, and color values), and stability of curcumin against environmental stresses and in a model beverage. Curcumin encapsulated by freeze drying presented higher MEE, whereas spray drying produced microparticles of smaller particle size, smoother granule surface, and more regular shapes. Though to different extent, curcumin encapsulated by both methods exhibited improved stability against heat and acidity, and improved stability in a carbonated beverage. This study provides practical information on the selection of wall materials and encapsulation methods for microencapsulating curcumin for various applications.