Core shell microcapsules of neem seed oil extract containing azadirachtin and biodegradable polymers and their release characteristics

  • Kanyarat Sittipummongkol
  • Piyachat Chuysinuan
  • Supanna Techasakul
  • Penwisa Pisitsak
  • Chiravoot PechyenEmail author
Original Paper


Azadirachtin is a biologically active constituent of neem seed oil, exhibiting medicinal and pesticidal properties. This work reports on the encapsulation of neem seed oil extract within three different polymeric shells: polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), gum arabic (GA), and whey protein isolate/maltodextrin (WPI/MD), using spray drying. The obtained roughly spherical microcapsules had average sizes of 28.84 ± 11.86, 32.43 ± 13.06, and 52.88 ± 17.33 µm (obtained from PVA, GA, and WPI/MD, respectively). Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed the presence of the core and shell components, in addition to surface functional groups. Encapsulation efficiencies for neem seed oil proved higher in smaller microcapsules, although efficiency values of 60–92% were obtained in all cases. In vitro release of neem seed oil from the microcapsules followed the Ritger–Peppas model, as governed by Fickian diffusion. From these results, the association of botanical insecticides within biopolymer cores offers considerable potential for increasing agricultural production levels and reducing impacts on the environment and human health.


Microcapsules Azadirachtin Insecticides Polyvinyl alcohol Gum arabic Whey protein isolate Maltodextrin 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by Thammasat University Research Fund under the TU research Scholar, Contract No. 13/2561; the National Research Council of Thailand and the Plastics Institute of Thailand. We also acknowledge the Laboratory of Organic Synthesis, Chulabhorn Research Institute and the center for advanced studies in Materials and Packaging TU, Faculty of Science and Technology, Thammasat University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Materials and Textile, Faculty of Science and TechnologyThammasat UniversityPathumthaniThailand
  2. 2.Laboratory of Organic SynthesisChulabhorn Research InstituteBangkokThailand

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