• Maillard reaction products;
  • omega-3;
  • microencapsulation;
  • fish oil;
  • powder


The use of Maillard reaction products for encapsulation of fish oil was investigated. Fish oil was emulsified with heated aqueous mixtures comprising a protein source (Na caseinate, whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, or skim milk powder) and carbohydrates (glucose, dried glucose syrup, oligosaccharide) and spray-dried for the production of 50% oil powders. The extent of the Maillard reaction was monitored using L*, a*, b* values and absorbance at 465 nm. Encapsulation efficiency was gauged by measurement of solvent-extractable fat and the oxidative stability of the fish oil powder, which was determined by assessment of headspace propanal after storage of powders at 35 °C for 4 wk. Increasing the heat treatment (60 °C to 100 °C for 30 to 90 min) of sodium caseinate-glucose-glucose syrup mixtures increased Maillard browning but did not change their encapsulation efficiency. The encapsulation efficiency of all heated sodium caseinate-glucose-glucose syrup mixtures was high, as indicated by the low solvent-extractable fat in powder (<2% powder, w/w). However, increasing the severity of the heat treatment of the sodium caseinate-glucose-glucose syrup mixtures reduced the susceptibility of the fish oil powder to oxidation. The increased protection afforded to fish oil in powders by increasing the temperature-time treatment of protein-carbohydrate mixtures before emulsification and drying was observed irrespective of the protein (sodium caseinate, whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, or skim milk powder) and carbohydrate (glucose, glucose/dried glucose syrup, or oligosaccharide/dried glucose syrup) sources used in the formulation. Maillard reaction products produced by heat treatment of aqueous protein-carbohydrate mixtures were effective for protecting microencapsulated fish oil and other oils (evening primrose oil, milk fat) from oxidation.