Bacterial cellulose as an alternative thickener for o/w emulsions: Comparison with common thickeners

P. Paximada, A.A. Koutinas, E. Scholten, I. Mandala

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Cellulose is the most abundant natural polysaccharide, being the major structural component of
plants. Chemically modified celluloses are well known food thickeners. Recently, besides them, bacterial cellulose (BC) has received attention. BC has good water binding capacity and sufficient network formation through formation of fiber-like structures. The role of BC as a thickener in the continuous phase of emulsions has not been extensively studied and the effect on the rheological behavior of emulsions is not well known. Xanthan gum (XG) and locust bean gum (LBG) are hydrocolloids commonly used as thickeners in emulsions. However, both XG and LBG are high priced and the food industry would benefit from cheaper alternatives. Hence, the objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of BC (0 - 1 %wt) addition in whey protein isolate (WPI) (2 - 5 %wt) stabilized emulsions on the properties of the emulsions in terms of droplet size, stability and rheological behavior and to compare the rheological behavior to emulsions thickened with xanthan gum (XG) and locust bean gum (LBG). At lower BC concentrations (0.5 - 0.7 %wt), extensive aggregation led to unstable emulsions due to bridging flocculation. However, at higher concentrations (1 %wt BC), stable emulsions were obtained due to either steric stabilization or network formation of BC fibrils. The viscosity profile of the BC emulsions showed three regions, including two shear thinning regions separated by a constant viscosity plateau (Newtonian). To compare the ability of BC to act as a thickener with XG and LBG, emulsions were prepared with different thickener concentrations. Their rheological profile showed that BC experienced similar shear thinning behavior as XG, but smaller amounts of BC was needed to obtain the same zero- shear viscosity. These results showed that BC is a good alternative for commonly used thickeners with future applications in the food industry.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventISFRS 2015 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 7 Jun 201511 Jun 2015


ConferenceISFRS 2015


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