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Microencapsulation of Ascorbic Acid by Spray Drying: Influence of Process Conditions

Authors: Darryl M. Small, Addion Nizori, Lan T.T. Bui


Ascorbic acid (AA), commonly known as vitamin C, is essential for normal functioning of the body and maintenance of metabolic integrity. Among its various roles are as an antioxidant, a cofactor in collagen formation and other reactions, as well as reducing physical stress and maintenance of the immune system. Recent collaborative research between the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) in Scottsdale, Tasmania and RMIT University has sought to overcome the problems arising from the inherent instability of ascorbic acid during processing and storage of foods. The recent work has demonstrated the potential of microencapsulation by spray drying as a means to enhance retention. The purpose of this current study has been focused upon the influence of spray drying conditions on the properties of encapsulated ascorbic acid. The process was carried out according to a central composite design. Independent variables were: inlet temperature (80-120° C) and feed flow rate (7-14 mL/minute). Process yield, ascorbic acid loss, moisture content, water activity and particle size distribution were analysed as responses. The results have demonstrated the potential of microencapsulation by spray drying as a means to enhance retention. Vitamin retention, moisture content, water activity and process yield were influenced positively by inlet air temperature and negatively by feed flow rate.

Keywords: spray drying, ascorbic acid, microencapsulation

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