Food Structure


I. Heertje


Microstructural studies play an important role in establishing the relation between composition, processing and final properties of many food products. In order to arrive at a full description of microstructure many visualization- and preparation techniques are needed. A number of fatty products such as shortenings, margarine , butter, and low fat spreads are discussed from a microstructural point of view. Examples of the influence of process parameters on microstructure and rheological properties are given. In particular, attention is paid to the fat crystalline matrix and the emulsion structure.

Further, a new methodology is described making it possible to study interactions of emulsifiers at interfaces between oil and water. In this context , the displacement, at a planar interface, of sodium caseinate by low-molecular mass emulsifiers such as monoacylglycerols and phospholipids has been studied. It appears that saturated monoacylglycerols are more active in displacing the protein than unsaturated monoacylglycerols. With phospholipids, complicated phenomena such as spontaneous emulsification, occur at the oil / water interface . Phospholipids , in general, appear to be much more surface-active than monoacylglycerols.

This type of work generates ideas to control and manipulate the microstructure and product properties of fatty products.

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