R-Index Measure of Microencapsulated Tributyrin in Gamma-Cyclodextrin Influenced by Drying Method

Joseph D. Donovan, Soo Yeun Lee, Youngsoo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microencapsulation is commonly used in the food industry for a variety of purposes including added ingredient functionally and taste-masking for those ingredients with negative sensory qualities. Tributyrin (TB), a source intestinally-essential butyric acid, possesses negative aroma (cheesy, fecal) and taste (bitter) qualities. This has significantly limited its use in food applications for the potential improvement of intestinal health. Utilizing spray drying and low-temperature oven drying, microcapsules containing TB were produced using whey (WPI), WPI and inulin, and gamma-cyclodextrin (GCD). To determine how microcapsule formulation and drying method affected the perception of TB relative to a control, microencapsulated and free TB were added to an infant formula system and evaluated using the rating method to determine R-index measures. Pooled R-index measures (α = 0.01, 2-tailed, and n = 170) indicated that the only microcapsule not significantly different from the control (R-index below 57.95%) was the GCD and TB oven dried (GCT OD) microcapsule. All other WPI, WPI-inulin, and GCD and TB spray-dried (GCT SD) microcapsules were all significantly different from the control. Average individual R-index results indicated that all microcapsules in infant formula, except for GCT OD, were significantly different (P < 0.01) from the control formula but not from free TB. Spray drying may create microcapsules with surface TB and disturb the GCD-TB complex, allowing free, and surface TB to be perceived by the panelists. The GCT OD microcapsule has the potential to be used for the potential oral treatment of intestinal disorders in functional food applications without the negative sensory qualities of TB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S2252-S2257
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • R-index
  • gamma-cyclodextrin
  • microencapsulation
  • tributyrin
  • whey protein isolate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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