The flavorist has a number of options with which to encapsulate a liquid flavor. These commercially viable systems have been noted1 and are re-listed in T-1. Each encapsulation system brings with it a number of constraints, and the choice of the best-suited process is critical to a successful delivery of the encapsulated flavor.2 Melt extrusion and melt injection are two similar process systems. Unfortunately, some juxtaposition of these terms has occurred in the literature, which can lead to confusion. This article discusses the strengths, limitations and various applications of these two flavor encapsulation processes.
Terms referring to extrusion encapsulation have been used interchangeably for similar but distinct processes. These terminologies include: extrusion, extrusion encapsulation, melt-extrusion, hot-melt extrusion, polymer-melt extrusion, glass encapsulation, melt encapsulation, melt-injection and Durarome process. The major distinction lies in the use of either a twin-screw extruder (melt extrusion and extrusion encapsulation) or the hard candy syrup-boil process followed by injection and cooling of the syrup flavor into a solvent bath (melt injection and Durarome process). A profile comparison of the two systems is found in T-2.