Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.


(chemical engineering)
Enclosing of materials in capsules from well below 1 micrometer to over 2000 micrometers in diameter.



the enclosure of small solid particles and their aggregates (granules) or drops of liquid within a thin, durable shell with various definite properties, such as permeability, fusibility, and solubility (or insolubility) in given media. The size of microcapsules is usually 10-1 to 10-4 cm. The material of the shell makes up a few percent of the total mass of the capsule.

Microencapsulation consists in dispersion of the material in a suitable gaseous or liquid medium, with subsequent coating of the particles or droplets of the dispersed phase by a layer of the capsule material, which is introduced into the system as a separate phase or separates from the surrounding (dispersion) medium as a result of physical or chemical processes. The microcapsule shells may at first be liquid, solidifying upon heating or cooling or the action of chemical reagents. Various macromolecular compounds, including those of biological origin, such as gelatin, are often used as the capsule material.

The technological methods of microencapsulation are extremely varied. They are based on physical and chemical processes of condensation, phase transitions, and various types of surface interphase effects. In each specific case, the methods used are dictated by the properties and composition of the components, as well as by the intended use of the microcapsules.

Microencapsulation is used to protect various powdered products from caking and the action of moisture and atmospheric oxygen, to avoid premature interaction of chemically reactive compounds, and to provide safe storage and handling of aggressive and poisonous substances. Microencapsulation is finding increased application in the production of timed-release drugs, biologically active substances for agriculture (pesticides, growth regulators, and fertilizers), and various composition materials, such as glues.


Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology, vol. 8. New York,
1968. Page 719.


References in periodicals archive ?
In a general way, one of the most used microencapsulation technique in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry is the emulsification followed the appropriated separation processing, in which normally solvent evaporation or extraction are employed.
Microencapsulation, which shows potential as carriers of enzymes in the food industry, could be a good vehicle for the addition of mistletoe to food (Bersen'eva et al., 1990; Jackson and Lee, 1991).
Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., is exploring nutrient microencapsulation technologies through NanoteK, a consortium of 15 universities and government labs recently created to explore improvements for the food industry.
Firmenich signed an exclusive deal with Micap early in 2003 to develop the microencapsulation method which holds flavour in using yeast cells, even during cooking, only releasing it when it hits the tongue.
Wall systems that contain whey proteins or blends of proteins with carbohydrates are able to retain volatiles during the microencapsulation process.
Microencapsulation has been employed to protect probiotic bacteria from adverse conditions in the external environment and the gastrointestinal tract; therefore, providing these bacteria in quantities that are sufficient for the realization of their beneficial effects, as well as improving their shelf life (CHAVARRI et al., 2012; SHOJI et al., 2013).
The transaction strengthens Glanbia's capability set with microencapsulation, agglomeration, micronizing, spray drying, and edible film technologies.
He will now manage Lycored's R&D teams, whose activities cover extraction, formulation, microencapsulation, fermentation, and the development of new active ingredients.
The effects of the deterioration of these compounds can be minimized by the microencapsulation process.
[gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="190291,190292,190293,190294"]<br />When Encapsys in Appleton called on Eppstein Uhen Architects to design a new building for the company's innovation headquarters, the result was a high-tech structure that is both sleek and functional.<br />EUA drew inspiration from Encapsys' work in microencapsulation the company produces spherical capsules that contain substances such as ink or fragrance.
Microencapsulation using biodegradable polymers has potential application in drug and cell delivery systems [1-4].
The PolarDry Electrostatic Spray Dryer uses electrostatic technology, rather than heated drying gas, for microencapsulation. This technology eliminates the intense heat of traditional spray drying and is more efficient at encapsulating the active ingredient.