Effects of Oil Type on Sterol-Based Organogels and Emulsions

Hassan Sawalha*, Paul Venema, Arjen Bot, Eckhard Flöter, Yaqi Lan, Erik van der Linden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigates the effect of oil type on the formation, morphology and mechanical properties of phytosterol-based organogels. The formation of organogels can be satisfactorily predicted with a criterion based on Hansen Solubility Parameters (HSPs), provided that the sterol and sterol ester in these systems assemble as tubules. When structures other than tubules are formed, the predictability of the HSP-based criterion becomes void. In cases where organogelling occurred, the morphology and mechanical properties of the tubular network of the gels and water-in-oil emulsions were investigated. The findings revealed that the structure of the tubular network formed in oils with different compositions, could be grouped based on the dielectric constants of the oils. Curly and bundled tubules which formed networks, were observed in gels prepared with low dielectric constant oils (i.e. decane and limonene). For oils with a moderate dielectric constant (i.e. castor oil and sunflower oil), the tubules became less curly and straighter. Upon increasing the dielectric constant of the oil (eugenol), individual tubules were observed next to the bundled tubules. The results showed that straighter, bundled tubules are associated with firmer gels, whereas less straight (i.e. curly) tubules rendered weaker gels. The tubular network of the water-in-oil emulsions obtained for oils with a low dielectric constant appeared more open with straighter tubules. For oils with relatively high dielectric constant, the water-in-oil emulsions lost most of their tubular structure and only a few tubules could be observed. In the presence of emulsion droplets fewer tubules are formed, resulting in weaker networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
JournalFood Biophysics
Issue number1
Early online date7 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Hansen solubility parameters
  • Mechanical properties
  • Morphology
  • Organogel
  • Type of oil
  • Water-in-oil emulsions
  • β-Sitosterol
  • γ-Oryzanol


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