For a long time, bioactive materials such as microorganisms and various particles have been used in the food industry as facilitators of food and alcoholic fermentations (for the production of cheeses, beers, wines etc.) and as food additives that change flavour, colour and/or odour of products. Growing consumers' interest in their personal health and particularly in foods which are capable of preventing and/or curing illness, i.e. in functional foods, has made them even more important for the industry. But the challenge has always been to control their concentration and behaviour during production processes and in final products, as those microorganisms and various active particles lack long-lasting operational stability, have short shelf life, are difficult to recover and reuse.
A team of scientists from the North West Poland that specialises in the immobilisation technologies, i.e. in technologies that prevent cells, bacteria etc. from moving and fix them to a place where they are required, has found and is offering a solution to the problems - a method of encapsulation and immobilisation of bioactive materials. It entails binding microorganisms with a carrier and closing in a microcapsule which imitates natural biological membrane so as to restrict their free movement, while providing access to nutrients and, at the same time, outflow of waste products. As all components have no chemical additives, capsules are eatable. The offered method is environmentally friendly and safe for people. Moreover, it is based on typical industrial methods, what makes it economically beneficial and 100% operative.
The scientists would like to see their technology implemented and further develop it. Therefore they are offering partnerships under licensing and technical cooperation agreement to companies from the food industry and R&D institutions, respectively. A licensee will be responsible for introducing the technology to its production process with an assistance of the scientists if required (they have experience in that respect, supporting industrial implementations of their other technologies). Under technical cooperation agreement a partner is expected to provide expertise that will help improve the technology.