Science: Capsule Solutions for Countless Problems

Aspirin and adhesive. Rivets and floor cleaners. Uranium fuel and food flavoring. What do all such widely divergent products have in common? Answer: They have all been improved and made more practical by a little-known but rapidly spreading process called microencapsulation.

By breaking up substances into tiny particles or droplets, and encapsulating each one in a protective coating of its own, scientists have turned volatile liquids into docile, easily handled solids. They have extended the effectiveness of drugs and insecticides, learned to mask unpleasant smells and tastes and to help preserve pleasant ones....

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