Pectins with distinct molecular design were isolated by aqueous extraction at pH 2.0 or 6.0 and were examined in terms of their formation and stabilisation capacity of model n-alkane–in–water emulsions at acidic pH (pH 2.0). The properties and stability of the resulting emulsions were examined by means of droplet size distribution analysis, Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner modelling, bulk rheology, interfacial composition analysis, large-amplitude oscillatory surface dilatational rheology, electrokinetic analysis and fluorescence microscopy. Both pectin preparations were able to emulsify alkanes in water but exhibited distinct ageing characteristics. Emulsions prepared using pectin isolated at pH 6.0 were remarkably stable with respect to droplet growth after thirty days of ageing, while those prepared with pectin isolated at pH 2.0 destabilised rapidly. Examination of chemical composition of interfacial layers indicated multi-layered adsorption of pectins at the oil-water interface. The higher long-term stability of emulsions prepared with pectin isolated at high pH is attributed to mechanically stronger interfaces, the highly branched nature and the low hydrodynamic volume of the chains that result in effective steric stabilisation whereas acetyl and methyl contents do not contribute to the long-term stability. The present work shows that it is possible by tailoring the fine structure of pectin to engineer emulsions that operate in acidic environments.
- Ostwald ripening
- Lissajous plots