Network forming properties of various proteins adsorbed at the air/water interface in relation to foam stability

A.H. Martin, K.C.F. Grolle, M.A. Bos, M.A. Cohen Stuart, T. van Vliet

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186 Citations (Scopus)


A series of proteins was studied with respect to their ability to form a network at the air/water interface and their suitability as foaming agents and foam stabilizers. Proteins were chosen with a range of structures from flexible to rigid/globular: beta-casein, beta-lactoglobulin, ovalbumin, and (soy) glycinin. Experiments were performed at neutral pH except for glycinin, which was studied at both pH 3 and pH 6.7. The adsorption process was followed with an automated drop tensiometer (ADT). Network forming properties were assessed in terms of surface dilational modulus (determined with the ADT), the critical falling film length (L-still) and flow rate (Q(still)) below which a stagnant film exists (as measured with the overflowing cylinder technique), and the fracture stress and fracture strain measured in surface shear. It was found that glycinin (pH 3) can form an interfacial gel in a very short time, whereas beta-casein has very poor network-forming properties. Hardly any foam could be produced at the chosen conditions with glycinin (pH 6.7) and with ovalbumin, whereas beta-casein, beta-lactoglobulin, and glycinin (pH 3) were good foaming agents. It seems that adsorption and unfolding rate are most important for foam formation. Once the foam is formed, a rigid network might favor stabilizing the foam. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • stagnant surface behavior
  • beta-lactoglobulin
  • rheological properties
  • water-interface
  • food proteins
  • soy glycinin
  • air-water
  • films
  • adsorption
  • casein

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