Enhanced coalescence stability of droplets through multi-faceted microgel adsorption behaviour

Jéssica Thaís do Prado Silva*, Vânia Regina Nicoletti, Karin Schroën, Jolet de Ruiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Tannic acid-crosslinking of whey protein isolate (WPI) microgels produces soft particles that can physically stabilize food emulsions. Here, these particles were used to investigate their compression at the air-water interface, and early-time stabilization of a model emulsion. Langmuir trough experiments show that the microgels have a compression behaviour similar to synthetic microgels with a core-shell structure. The dangling chains provide protein-protein interactions at low surface coverage, while the partially-flattened cores provide thicker surface patches. Microfluidic experiments showed that at low continuous phase concentration, WPI microgels suppress coalescence due to bridging, which leads to improved stability compared to emulsions stabilized by native WPI. In contrast to classic Pickering emulsions, longer adsorption times lead to higher adsorbed amounts, which is expected due to the chains on the microgel surface, and possibly flattening of these microgels at the interface. Both features together are expected to be instrumental in obtaining highly stable microgel-stabilized food emulsions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110850
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Bridging flocculation
  • Compression isotherm
  • Emulsion stability
  • Microfluidics
  • Tannic acid
  • WPI microgels


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