The contribution of time-dependent stress relaxation in protein gels to the recoverable energy that is used as a tool to describe food texture

S. de Jong, T. van Vliet, H.H.J. de Jongh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recoverable energy (RE), defined as the ratio of the work exerted on a test specimen during compression and recovered upon subsequent decompression, has been shown to correlate to sensory profiling of protein-based food products. Understanding the mechanism determining the time-dependency of RE is primordial. This work aims to identify the protein-specific impact on the recoverable energy by stress dissipation via relaxation of (micro)structural rearrangements within protein gels. To this end, caseinate and gelatin gels are studied for their response to time-dependent mechanical deformation as they are known to develop structurally distinct network morphologies. This work shows that in gelatin gels no significant stress relaxation occurs on the seconds timescale, and consequently no time-dependency of the amount of energy stored in this material is observed. In caseinate gels, however, the energy dissipation via relaxation processes does contribute significantly to the time-dependency of reversible stored energy in the network. This can explain the obtained RE as a function of applied deformation at slow deformation rates. At faster deformation, an additional contribution to the dissipated energy is apparent, that increases with the deformation rate, which might point to the role of energy dissipation related to friction of the serum entrapped by the protein-network. This work shows that engineering strategies focused on controlling viscous flow in protein gels could be more effective to dictate the ability to elastically store energy in protein gels than routes that direct protein-specific aggregation and/or network-assembly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-518
JournalMechanics of Time-Dependent Materials
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Protein Network
  • Mechanical deformation
  • Energy dissipation
  • stress relaxation
  • Recoverable energy

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