Effect of droplet-matrix interactions on large deformation properties of emulsion-filled gels

G. Sala, G.A. van Aken, M.A. Cohen Stuart, F. van de Velde

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The aim of this work was to identify the effect of droplet¿matrix interactions on the large deformation properties of emulsion-filled gels. A study was carried out on the behavior in compression of gelatin, whey protein isolate (WPI) and ¿-carrageenan gels containing emulsions stabilized by different emulsifying agents (WPI, WPI aggregates, lysozyme, polyoxyethylenesorbitan monolaurate [Tween 20]) to control droplet¿matrix interactions. For gelatin gels, emulsions stabilized with WPI and lysozyme induced an increase of the modulus, while emulsions stabilized with Tween induced a decrease of the modulus. It was concluded that in the first two cases, the oil droplets were bound to the gel matrix and that in the latter case the oil droplets were unbound. For WPI gels, emulsions stabilized with WPI aggregates, lysozyme and low concentration of Tween induced an increase of the modulus (bound droplets). The modulus variations observed for ¿-carrageenan gels were mainly related to interactions between ¿-carrageenan and the emulsifying agent present in the aqueous phase. Theories based on the effect of the oil content on modulus satisfactorily fitted the trend of the experimental results, both for bound and unbound droplets. The fracture strain decreased with increasing oil concentration for droplets bound to the matrix and remained constant for unbound droplets, while the fracture stress was unaffected by bound droplets and decreased in the case of unbound droplets. Theories describing the effect of filler content on fracture strain and stress failed to predict the experimental results. This was attributed to the small size of the oil droplets of the emulsions used in this study, which was similar to the size of the inherent defects present in the gel network.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-535
JournalJournal of Texture Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • protein isolate gels
  • rheological properties
  • viscoelastic properties
  • particulate composite
  • compression strength
  • shear modulus
  • oil droplets
  • microstructure
  • particles


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