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Textural and waterbinding behaviors of β-lactoglobulin-xanthan gum electrostatic hydrogels in relation to their microstructure

Le, Xuan T., Turgeon, Sylvie L.
Food hydrocolloids 2015 v.49 pp. 216-223
biopolymers, bioreactors, centrifugation, engineering, gels, hardness, hydrocolloids, micropores, microstructure, porosity, texture, water quantity
Relationships between structure, texture, and waterbinding properties of electrostatic gels between β-lactoglobulin-xanthan gum (βlg-XG) under various associative conditions were investigated. It was found that a decrease in the pore size and the heterogeneity of gaps, by increasing the concentration or reducing the ratio, resulted in an increase in gel hardness, and a decrease in the water loss of gels under the weak centrifugation conditions. The effect of ratio and total solid concentration on gel properties could be interpreted on the basis of the role of XG in gel organization. The gels retained a high quantity of water per gram biopolymer under quiescent conditions; however, following a slight centrifugation, their water loss ranged from 20% to 92%, depending on βlg-XG ratio. Most part of the water is weakly retained within gels micropores making these hydrogels an attractive material for biomedical applications including cell scaffolds, matrices for bioreactor systems and for bio-separation processes. An understanding of the effect of βlg-XG ratio and total solid concentration on gel properties is important for the future engineering of this hydrogel for further applications.