Polysaccharide hydrogels have been increasingly utilized in various fields. In this review, we focus on polysaccharide-based hydrogels used as probiotic delivery systems. Probiotics are microorganisms with a positive influence on our health that live in the intestines. Unfortunately, probiotic bacteria are sensitive to certain conditions, such as the acidity of the gastric juice. Polysaccharide hydrogels can provide a physical barrier between encapsulated probiotic cells and the harmful environment enhancing the cells survival rate. Additionally, hydrogels improve survivability of probiotic bacteria not only under gastrointestinal track conditions but also during storage at various temperatures or heat treatment. The hydrogels described in this review are based on selected polysaccharides: alginate, κ-carrageenan, xanthan, pectin and chitosan. Some hydrogels are obtained from the mixture of two polysaccharides or polysaccharide and non-polysaccharide compounds. The article discusses the efficiency of probiotic delivery systems made of single polysaccharide, as well as of systems comprising more than one component.
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