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    Rights: University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved.
    Published 17 July 2009, Updated 5 February 2016 Referencing Hub media

    Fish oil can be microencapsulated and added to foods without making them taste or smell fishy. In this animated video you can see how the fish oil is microencapsulated.


    Before you can add fish oil to foods it must be microencapsulated, otherwise the food will smell and taste fishy.

    First, good quality fish oil is chosen to make the emulsion. Good quality fish oil contains a high amount of the bioactive components EPA and DHA.

    Then, a special solution is made that contains proteins and surfactants. Surfactants are a substance that accumulates on the surface of liquids.

    The fish oil is mixed with the proteins and surfactants using an homogeniser. The homogeniser breaks the oil into tiny droplets forming an emulsion. The droplets are more than 100 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

    The proteins and surfactants in the emulsion spontaneously assemble and create a protective barrier around the fish oil droplets.

    The protective barrier slows down the escape of volatile compounds in the fish oil droplets, which can cause a fishy taste and smell. The barrier also helps protect the oil from oxygen.

    The fish oil emulsion is very stable, and can be added to a variety of foods to increase the amount of omega-3 we eat.