Interfacial properties, thin film stability and foam stability of casein micelle dispersions

Min Chen, G. Sala, M.B.J. Meinders*, H.J.F. van Valenberg, E. van der Linden, L.M.C. Sagis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Foam stability of casein micelle dispersions (CMDs) strongly depends on aggregate size. To elucidate the underlying mechanism, the role of interfacial and thin film properties was investigated. CMDs were prepared at 4 °C and 20 °C, designated as CMD4 °C and CMD20 °C. At equal protein concentrations, foam stability of CMD4 °C (with casein micelle aggregates) was markedly higher than CMD20 °C (without aggregates). Although the elastic modulus of CMD4 °C was twice as that of CMD20 °C at 0.005 Hz, the protein adsorbed amount was slightly higher for CMD20 °C than for CMD4 °C, which indicated a slight difference in interfacial composition of the air/water interface. Non-linear surface dilatational rheology showed minor differences between mechanical properties of air/water interfaces stabilized by two CMDs. These differences in interfacial properties could not explain the large difference in foam stability between two CMDs. Thin film analysis showed that films made with CMD20 °C drained to a more homogeneous film compared to films stabilized by CMD4 °C. Large casein micelle aggregates trapped in the thin film of CMD4 °C made the film more heterogeneous. The rupture time of thin films was significantly longer for CMD4 °C (>1 h) than for CMD20 °C (<600 s) at equal protein concentration. After homogenization, which broke down the aggregates, the thin films of CMD4 °C became much more homogeneous, and both the rupture time of thin films and foam stability decreased significantly. In conclusion, the increased stability of foam prepared with CMD4 °C appears to be the result of entrapment of casein micelle aggregates in the liquid films of the foam.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
JournalColloids and Surfaces. B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Foam
  • Surface rheology
  • thin film stability
  • casein micelle aggregates

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