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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microscopic Starch-Based Shells
See also: US Patent Office Full Record

Plains Area

Patent Number: 6669962
Docket Number: 5601
Serial Number: 9745043
Date Patented: 12/30/2003

Technology Description:

The invention relates to microscopic starch-based shells, or microcapsules. The microcapsules are formed by first processing starch and either a fat or oil in the presence of water in a steam-jet cooker, and then diluting the mixture with an excess of water. Microscopic starch shells, having a fat or oil core, rise to the surface. When a volatile fat or oil is used in the process, the core will evaporate, leaving empty shells that can be refilled with another agent that would not have survived the steam-jet cooking. The microcapsules disperse easily in water and can be used for a variety of purposes including lubricants, cosmetics, oil-based food flavorings, and for delivery of oil-soluble pharmaceuticals that are given either by injection or topically. Chemical modification of the starch shells would be possible for certain pharmaceutical and industrial applications.


Please refer to USPN 6,669,962 (Docket #0056.01), "Starch Microcapsules for Delivery of Active Agents," which issued on December 30, 2003, and is a continuation of USPN 6,238,677 (Docket #0006.98), which issued on May 29, 2001.  Foreign rights are not available. 


George F. Fanta
Biomaterials Processing Research
Peoria, Illinois 61604
(309) 81-6356 / Fax: (309) 681-6691
Frederick C. Felker
(Same address as first inventor)
(309) 681-6663 / Fax: (309) 681-6685
Clarence A. Knutson
Formerly with ARS)

Kenneth Eskins (deceased)


Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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