Abstract: Probiotic delivery system was developed via the use of microbial transglutaminase (MTG) cross-linked soy protein isolate (SPI) incorporated with agrowastes such as banana peel (BE), banana pulp (BU), and pomelo rind (PR). Inoculums of Lactobacillus bulgaricus FTDC 1511 were added to the cross-linked protein matrix. The incorporation of agrowastes had significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the strength, pH value, and the lightness of the SPI gel carriers, while sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis profiles revealed that the occurring cross-links within the SPI gel carriers were attributed to the addition of MTG. Scanning electron microscope micrographs illustrated that SPI carriers containing agrowastes have exhibited a less-dense protein matrix. All the SPI carriers possessed maximum swelling ratio at 4 to 4.5 within 15 min in simulated gastric fluid (SGF), whereas the maximum swelling ratios of SPI/BE, SPI/BU, and SPI/PR were higher compared to that of control in simulated intestinal fluid (SIF). Additionally, SPI carriers in SGF medium did not show degradation of structure, whereas a major collapse of network was observed in SIF medium, indicating controlled-release in the intestines. The addition of agrowastes into SPI carriers led to a significantly (P < 0.0001) lower release of L. bulgaricus FTDC 1511 in SGF medium and a higher release in SIF medium, compared to that of the control. SPI carriers containing agrowastes may be useful transports for living probiotic cells through the stomach prior to delivery in the lower intestines.
Practical Application: Agrowastes could be utilized as a new probiotic carrier for enhanced gastrointestinal transit and during storage. This also reduces the amount of agrowastes accumulated.