Interfacial behaviour of biopolymer multilayers: Influence of in vitro digestive conditions

Meinou N. Corstens*, Lilia A. Osorio Caltenco, Renko de Vries, Karin Schroën, Claire C. Berton-Carabin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although multilayered emulsions have been related to reduced lipolysis, the involved interfacial phenomena have never been studied directly. In this work, we systematically built multilayers of whey protein and pectin, which we further subjected to digestive conditions, using two different techniques: droplet volume tensiometry to investigate interfacial rheology, and reflectometry to determine the amount of adsorbed material. Interfacial tension and dilatational rheology were linked to adsorption/desorption kinetics measured under static in vitro conditions. The interfacial tension and rheology of the multilayers was rather similar to those found for single whey protein layers, as well as their resistance to duodenal conditions and lipolytic components, which is explained by the rapid destabilisation of multilayers at neutral pH. Sequential adsorption of bile extract or lipase to pre-adsorbed films rapidly lowered the interfacial tension via co-adsorption and displacement, forming a viscoelastic film with low mechanical strength, and highly dynamic adsorption/desorption. When both were present, bile salts dominated the initial adsorption, followed by lipase co-adsorption and formation of lipolysis products that further lowered the interfacial tension, forming a complex interface (including biopolymers, bile salts, lipase, and lipolysis products), independent of pre-adsorbed biopolymer layers. Our study shows that the combination of drop volume tensiometry and reflectometry can be used to study complex interfacial behaviours under digestive conditions, which can lead to smart design of interfacial structures for controlled lipolysis in food emulsions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-207
JournalColloids and Surfaces. B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Droplet volume tensiometry
  • Duodenal conditions
  • Interfacial rheology
  • Layer-by-layer
  • Oil–water interface
  • Reflectometry

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