Taro starch was modified and used as an alternative encapsulant for the microencapsulation of Lactobacillus plantarum SU-LS 36 by spray drying. Modification of taro starch was conducted by heat moisture treatment (HMT) and 2 autoclaving-cooling cycles (AC-2C). Microencapsulation of L. plantarum SU-LS 36 by spray dryer was done at constant air inlet (125 °C) and outlet temperature (50 °C), feed flow rate (4 mL min–1), drying air flow rate (20 m3 h–1) and air pressure (0.196 MPa). The modified taro starch AC-2C as an encapsulant material was able to produce round-shaped microcapsules and provided optimal protection during spray drying. The modified taro starch AC-2C is very promising to be used as an encapsulant for L. plantarum SU-LS36 since it showed better production yield (40.19%), high encapsulation efficiency (89.83%), protected the encapsulated bacteria from high temperature (70 °C), and showed the lowest viability decreasing during storage up to 6 weeks at room temperature.
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