Simple microgels for complex problems

Progel industrial scale microgels for tastier functional foods, healthier supplements and smarter pharmaceutics.

Microgels produced with the Progel technology are made from alginate, a naturally occurring biopolymer extracted from the brown seaweed. Alginate encapsulation is a one-step process and is used widely in molecular gastronomy to form artificial caviar and spherification of liquid. It has been used extensively by researchers to prove the value of alginate encapsulation in protecting bioactives such as probiotics, as well as controlling the delivery of drugs and masking bitter compounds.

The idea behind Progel originated from the need to scale up the encapsulation process, which prior to this, was achieved with techniques such as the needle syringe method. Although alternative methods existed, these methods produced large particles, required a gelling bath or were limited to batch processes. Scaling up of these methods were difficult due to these limitations.

The Progel technology is a truly scalable encapsulation technique capable of continuously producing microgels less than 100 microns. Particle size is crucial so as to not affect the sensory properties of the food products they are added into. In-house sensory studies have shown that the impact on sensorial characteristics of ‘grittiness’ and ‘powderiness’ is minimal at microgel particle size below 100 microns. The simplicity of the encapsulation process allows flexibility in adapting the Progel encapsulation process to a variety of existing manufacturing structures without compromising on hygiene requirements. Most importantly, all of the ingredients in the microgel are food-grade.

The benefits of the microgels has been proven in food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products.

  • Taste masking of bitter compounds in pharmaceuticals and plant extracts.
  • Improves probiotic viability in acidic food and beverage.
  • Protection of proteins, including enzymes, in acidic conditions (transit through the stomach).
  • Controlled release of microgel content.
  • Stabilisation of lipid or lipophilic active and increased absorption.