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Starch and pectin are two food-grade carbohydrates widely utilized in the food industry. Starch and pectin polymers have been investigated in encapsulating functional food ingredients and in pharmaceutical applications. Resistance to enzyme hydrolysis, differential solubilities, depending on the pH, and the ability to ‘protect’ unstable molecules are considered some of the beneficial properties of starch and pectin polymers, for encapsulation applications. Food ingredients could be delivered in a controlled manner to a specific target by encapsulating in micro-scale particles, i. e., microencapsulation. Two studies were conducted to investigate the ability of selected starch-pectin blends in microencapsulating ascorbic acid (vitamin C) by spray-drying. The first study investigated the properties of heat-treated resistant starch and pectin based microparticles; blends of 50% amylose and 70% amylose, and type 4 resistant (RS 4) starches, were used with high methoxyl pectin at selected ratios. The second study investigated the properties of gelatinized regular starch and pectin based microparticles that were prepared by spray drying with a three-fluid nozzle, in encapsulating ascorbic acid. The type of starch, as well as starch-pectin ratio influenced both physical and functional properties of the microparticles.
Advisor: Wajira S. Ratnayake