Freeze-dried gellan gum gels as vitamin delivery systems: modelling the effect of pH on drying kinetics and vitamin release mechanisms

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Freeze-dried gellan gum gels present great potential as delivery systems for biocompounds, such as vitamins, in food products. Here, we investigate the effect of modifying the gel pH—prior to the encapsulation process—on drying and release kinetics, and on delivery mechanisms from the substrate. Gellan gum gels were prepared at pH 5.2, 4 and 2.5 and loaded with riboflavin before being freeze-dried. Release tests were then carried out at ambient temperature in water. Five drying kinetics models were fitted to freeze-drying experimental curves using regression analysis. The goodness-of-fit was evaluated according to (i) the root mean squared error (ii), adjusted R-square (iii), Akaike information criterion (iv) and Bayesian information criterion. The Wang and Singh model provided the most accurate descriptions for drying at acidified pH (i.e., pH 4 and pH 2.5), while the Page model described better freeze-drying at pH 5.2 (gellan gum’s natural pH). The effect of pH on the vitamin release mechanism was also determined using the Korsmeyer–Peppas model, with samples at pH 5.2 showing a typical Fickian behaviour, while acidified samples at pH 4 combined both Fickian and relaxation mechanisms. Overall, these results establish the basis for identifying the optimal conditions for biocompound delivery using freeze-dried gellan gels.


Original languageEnglish
Article number329
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020


  • freeze-drying, gellam gum, modified pH, riboflavin, drying kinetics, release mechanism, model discrimination