ABSTRACT: Ten probiotic bacteria, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, L. salivarius, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, B. lactis type Bl-04, B. lactis type Bi-07, HOWARU L. rhamnosus, and HOWARU B. bifidum, were encapsulated in various coating materials, namely alginate, guar gum, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, and carrageenan gum. The various encapsulated probiotic bacteria were studied for their acid and bile tolerance. Free probiotic organisms were used as a control. The acid tolerance of probiotic organisms was tested at pH 2 over a 2-h incubation period. Bile tolerance was tested with taurocholic acid over an 8-h incubation period. The permeability of the capsules was also examined using a water-soluble dye, 6-carboxyflourescin (6-CF). The permeability was monitored by measuring the amount of 6-CF released from the capsules during a 2-w storage period. Results indicated that probiotic bacteria encapsulated in alginate, xanthan gum, and carrageenan gum survived better (P < 0.05) than free probiotic bacteria, under acidic conditions. When free probiotic bacteria were exposed to taurocholic acid, viability was reduced by 6.36 log CFU/mL, whereas only 3.63, 3.27, and 4.12 log CFU/mL was lost in probiotic organisms encapsulated in alginate, xanthan gum, and carrageenan gum, respectively. All encapsulating materials tested released small amounts of 6-CF; however, alginate and xanthan gum retained 22.1% and 18.6% more fluorescent dye than guar gum. In general, microcapsules made of alginate, xanthan gum, and carrageenan gum greatly improved the survival of probiotic bacteria when exposed to acidic conditions and bile salts.