Abstract: Sodium caseinate (SC) cross-linked by microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) for encapsulating microalgal oil was investigated. Protein cross-linking was evidenced in the SDS-PAGE graph. The emulsifying properties of SC depended on the cross-linked time with MTGase. The emulsifying activity and stability indexes of SC increased with the cross-linking time of 30 to 90 min (P30 to P90), and then declined with longer cross-linked time of 180 to 420 min (P180 to P420). The P30 to P90 as wall material for microencapsulation was superior to P180 to P420 and control sample. The microcapsules prepared with P30 to P90 showed more than 97% of microencapsulation efficiency in contrast to about 90% with the P180 to P420. During storage, the microcapsules prepared with P30 to P90 exhibited higher oxidative stability as compared with other microcapsules. A sustained release of microalgal oil was observed, and core release was time dependent and affected by cross-linking degree. Results showed that the powdered microalgal oil prepared with P30 to P90 demonstrated enhanced physicochemical properties and oxidative stability.
Practical Application: The novel method using cross-linked proteins as wall material induced by microbial transglutaminase in food industry for sensitive ingredients could convert microcapsules into a stable form, which would lead to its more widespread utilization as a kind of food additive.