Many protein/polysaccharide mixtures phase separate when the concentrations of these biopolymers are sufficiently high. One of the properties involved in this phenomenon is the interfacial tension. Here we present measurements of the interfacial tension of two different protein/polysaccharide mixtures. The protein gelatin was mixed with either dextran or gum arabic, all used in a variety of food products. The phase diagrams were constructed using optical rotation. Although both polysaccharides have the same molecular weight, the phase diagrams differed. The interfacial tension of samples, varying in the distance from the critical point, was determined using the spinning drop method. The interfacial tension was found to be in the range of 1-15 N/m. For both systems, the scaling behavior of the interfacial tension was investigated. The investigated gelatin/dextran system gave critical exponents of 2.5 ± 0.1 and 1.4 ± 0.1, in reasonable agreement with the mean-field values 3 and 1.5, respectively. The gelatin/gum arabic system did not show critical behavior. For this system, the interfacial tension shows a logarithmic dependence on the distribution of the gelatin and the gum arabic molecules in the separated phases.
- acacia-senegal gum
- master curve