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Microcapsules

Production on demand

Brief

Many of the flavours used in freeze-dried foods are aromatic oils from herbs and spices. But you can't freeze-dry oil, so what do you do? You encapsulate the oil in a tiny shell to make a dry ingredient.

Classically, microcapsules are manufactured in bulk and, as a result, manufacturing is inflexible and uneconomic for small batches.

We took a fresh look at the production method and came up with a way of producing microcapsules continuously with real-time control of the process.

Approach

Our solution uses two processes. The first creates droplets of the desired size – and the second encapsulates the payload in a protective shell.

Essentially, we’ve taken a well-known chemistry method crucial to a huge range of industries and wrapped our own science-led innovation around it to create a more efficient, cost-effective process that delivers over and over again.

The result can lead to improved controllability, consistency and yield of the finished product – and reduced waste.

Benefit

From the vitamins and minerals in your morning protein shake to the fertiliser and pesticides used on crops, introducing this flexibility and an element of personalisation into the microcapsule process is a win-win for manufacturers.

By creating microcapsules in a continuous process, development costs are reduced by removing the need to produce a full batch.

This makes it easier for manufacturers to tailor the chemistry to the application – for example, producing biodegradable shells.