Nestec’s latest (13 March) patent 6200609, ‘Process for obtaining a dehydrated food composition containing live probiotic lactic acid bacteria,’ combines two known concepts: benign, live bacteria in food, and spray-driers.
The patent is based on the National Stage Application of International Patent Application of 1997 based on the European Patent application of 1996.
Nestec has no competitor in this field of technology.
Abstract: A food composition containing live probiotic lactic acid bacteria is prepared by spraying a food composition containing water from one nozzle and spraying a probiotic lactic acid bacteria culture from a second nozzle into a device into which heated air is introduced for evaporating water from compositions sprayed into the device to dehydrate the compositions for obtaining a dehydrated product from the device and so that the dehydrated product recovered contains live probiotic lactic acid bacteria.
First of 10 Claims: In a process wherein a composition containing water is sprayed into a spray-drying device and wherein air is introduced into the device at a temperature to evaporate water from and dehydrate the composition sprayed in the device and wherein air is let out of the device and wherein a dehydrated composition is obtained from the device, the improvements comprising:
spraying a food composition containing water from one nozzle into the device and spraying a probiotic lactic acid bacteria culture from a second nozzle into the device and introducing air into the device which is heated and has a temperature of between 100° C. and 400° C. and introducing air in addition to the heated air into a zone in the device so that the air let out of the device has a temperature of between 40° and 90° C. and so that, in the device, water is evaporated from spray droplets of the sprayed food composition and from spray droplets of the sprayed bacteria culture to dehydrate the food composition and the bacteria of the culture and so that an internal temperature of the bacteria spray droplets does not exceed about 70° C. so that a dehydrated product in obtained from the device which contains dehydrated probiotic bacteria and in which at least 1% of the bacteria are live bacteria.
By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent