Food Structure


The role of emulsifiers in polymorphic transformations of fats and fatty acids is treated in this paper. Their effect as crystal modifiers in solution-mediated transformations (in fatty acids) is compared to that of a dynamic controller of polymorphic transformations in triglycerides. The importance of chemical structure both in the hydrophilic and in the hydrophobic moieties of the emulsifier for an inhibitory effect on phase transitions has been emphasized. The emulsifier solubility and crystallization behavior in different solvents are probably the main factors affecting its ability to interfere with the kinetics of solution-mediated transformations. On the other hand, certain requirements for a specific chemical structure of the emulsifier which provides good structure compatibility, must be met in order to affect the kinetics and mechanism of solid-solid or melt-mediated transformations. A mechanism of emulsifier incorporation in the fat and its effect in delaying the polymorphic transformation of tristearin is proposed. It has been concluded that the presence of the emulsifier does not dictate the formation of any preferred polymorph but rather controls the mobility of the molecules and their facility to undergo polymorphic transformations.

The relationship between polymorphism in fats and presence of additives plays a major role in the food industry, because of the serious quality implications involved in phase transitions.

Included in

Food Science Commons