The influence on the stability of Lactobacillus plantarum CECT 220 (25 C/60% relative humidity) of microencapsulation by simple coacervation followed by spray-drying using different Ca2þ-tosoybean protein isolate ratios was evaluated. After optimisation, the selected soybean protein
concentrate (SPC) microparticles were used to evaluate the tolerance of L. plantarum under acidic conditions (lactic acid, pH¿4; and HCl, pH¿3) and heat stress (80 C for 1 min) in contrast to free cells. Moreover, after the heat treatment, the influence of the simulated gastric fluid was evaluated. Additionally, different foods were formulated using either microencapsulated or freeze-dried L. plantarum, and the stability of cells during the shelf-life of the formulated foods was studied. Results show that encapsulation with SPC enhanced significantly the stability of the Lactic Acid Bacteria all along the probiotic food value chain, from production to the end of the food shelf-life.