Rheological and structural characterization of carrageenan emulsion gels
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Carrageenan emulsion gels containing sunflower oil were prepared using three different commercial carrageenan grades (κ-C, ι-C and λ-C). The effect of the carrageenan and salt content, as well as the oil:water ratio, on the emulsion gel strength was evaluated through a response surface methodology. Moreover, the rheological properties and the micro- and nanostructure from the stronger emulsion gel formulations were investigated and compared to their analogous hydrogel formulations. Interestingly, emulsion gels formed stronger and more thermally stable networks than the hydrogels, being this effect more evident in ι-C and λ-C. The results indicate that this was mainly due to a polysaccharide concentration effect, as no evidence of interactions between the carrageenan and the oil phase was found. Consequently, the rheological behaviour of the emulsion gels was mostly determined by the type of carrageenan. The association of carrageenan molecular chains was favoured in κ-C and λ-C (due to the presence of κ-carrageenan in the latter) and promoted by the addition of KCl. In contrast, a lower degree of chain association, mostly driven by ionic cross-linking, took place in ι-C. These results evidence the relevance of the gelation mechanism on the properties of emulsion gels and provide the basis for the design of these systems for targeted applications within the food industry. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.