Improving the stability of astaxanthin by microencapsulation in calcium alginate beads

Shen Fu Lin, Ying Chen Chen, Ray Neng Chen, Ling Chun Chen, Hsiu O. Ho, Yu Han Tsung, Ming Thau Sheu, Der Zen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


There has been considerable interest in the biological functions of astaxanthin and its potential applications in the nutraceutical, cosmetics, food, and feed industries in recent years. However, the unstable structure of astaxanthin considerably limits its application. Therefore, this study reports the encapsulation of astaxanthin in calcium alginate beads using the extrusion method to improve its stability. This study also evaluates the stability of the encapsulated astaxanthin under different storage conditions. The evaluation of astaxanthin stability under various environmental factors reveals that temperature is the most influential environmental factor in astaxanthin degradation. Stability analysis shows that, regardless of the formulation used, the content of astaxanthin encapsulated in alginate beads remains above 90% of the original amount after 21 days of storage at 25°C. These results suggest that the proposed technique is a promising way to enhance the stability of other sensitive compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0153685
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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