A Quantitative Re-Assessment of Microencapsulation in (Pre-Treated) Yeast

Molecules. 2024 Jan 22;29(2):539. doi: 10.3390/molecules29020539.


Most hydrophobes easily diffuse into yeast cells, where they experience reduced evaporation and protection from oxidation, thus allowing inherently biocompatible encapsulation processes. Despite a long-standing industrial interest, the effect of parameters such as how is yeast pre-treated (extraction with ethanol, plasmolysis with hypertonic NaCl, depletion to cell walls), the polarity of the hydrophobes and the process conditions are still not fully understood. Here, we have developed thorough analytical protocols to assess how the effects of the above on S. cerevisiae's morphology, permeability, and encapsulation efficiency, using three differently polar hydrophobes (linalool, 1,6-dihydrocarvone, limonene) and three separate processes (hydrophobes as pure 'oils', water dispersions, or acetone solutions). The harsher the pre-treatment (depleted > plasmolyzed/extracted > untreated cells), the easier the diffusion into yeast became, and the lower both encapsulation efficiency and protection from evaporation, possibly due to denaturation/removal of lipid-associated (membrane) proteins. More hydrophobic terpenes performed worst in encapsulation as pure 'oils' or in water dispersion, but much less of a difference existed in acetone. This indicates the specific advantage of solvents/dispersants for 'difficult' compounds, which was confirmed by principal component analysis; furthering this concept, we have used combinations of hydrophobes (e.g., linalool and α-tocopherol), with one acting as solvent/enhancer for the other. Our results thus indicate advantages in using untreated yeast and-if necessary-processes based on solvents/secondary hydrophobes.

Keywords: Saccharomyces cerevisiae; microencapsulation; nutraceuticals; terpenes; vitamin E.

MeSH terms

  • Acetone* / metabolism
  • Acyclic Monoterpenes*
  • Allergens / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / metabolism
  • Solvents
  • Water / metabolism


  • linalool
  • Acetone
  • Allergens
  • Solvents
  • Water
  • Acyclic Monoterpenes