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This research project is using food science and microtechnology to develop low cost, accessible health supplements.
The goals of this project are to:
- To use microencapsulation to create an ingestible pill from lactic acid bacteria and γ-aminobutyric acid, which gives probiotic, prebiotic and bioactive effects.
- To research the survivability of GABA and LAB in different conditions.
- To develop food products using encapsulated powders.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are both beneficial for humans when ingested. In fact, an optimal blend of LAB and GABA has many health benefits, including:
- Improving the nutritional value of food
- Limiting intestinal infections
- Improving the digestion of lactose
- Controlling various types of cancer
- Controlling serum cholesterol levels.
This project aims to combine LAB and GABA into a medicinal capsule that people can ingest. This capsule will have probiotic, prebiotic and bioactive effects. We will achieve this using microencapsulation technology. This involves encasing tiny amounts of LAB and GABA in micro-sized capsules. These microscopic capsules will be constructed from exopolysaccharides (EPS). EPS are polymers made of carbohydrates and proteins and are soluble in water. Using EPS as a wall material will protect the contents of the capsule from the elements. It will also allow our bodies to absorb them when ingested.
Graduate researcher profile: Pooja Pandey
I received my bachelors degree in Agricultural Engineering from the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in 2011. I completed my masters degree in Food Process Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur in 2015.
After my bachelors degree, I worked in industry at Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited. I then taught and researched at the Assocom Institute of Bakery Technology and Management. I am motivated to help financially disadvantaged people, by providing them with healthy and nutritious food at low cost. I would like to develop ready-to-eat products with improved shelf life and make them available to malnourished people. In my free time, I like to read books, travel and listen to music.
- The University of Melbourne:Associate Professor Greg Martin, Professor Muthupandian Ashokkumar
- Partner university: Professor H N Mishra
First published on 22 March 2022.
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