Bo InnoHealth is a spin-off from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University developing a novel microencapsulation technology which can protect probiotics and probiotics and enable their use in a wider range of applications such as snacks, hot drinks and pet food.
The company’s approach is based on using mushroom cells as a protective material to make microcapsules and artificial spores.
In one approach, the company creates microcapsules coated by dead mushroom cells, which can survive not only stomach acid, but also high-pressure compression and long-time storage under room temperature. With this micro-encapsulation technology, probiotics can be transported and stored without cold-chain, and can be applied in more types of food and drinks, and stock feed. The coating also protects probiotics from high temperatures and pressures during processing.
In addition, the company also uses living mushroom cells as wall materials for microcapsules. Using biochemical methods the company is able to guide living mushroom cells to grow in specific patterns, which form a micro-cocoon-like structure outside the probiotics. The living cells are then induced to harden as a wall of spores. The encapsulated probiotics can be applied in instant drinks including tea and coffee products.
Bo InnoHealth’s initial product is based on the bacteria Akkermansia, which the company describes as a very promising anti-obesity probiotic candidate.