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Whey protein-carboxymethylcellulose interaction in solution and in oil-in-water emulsion systems. Effect on emulsion stability

Koupantsis, T., Kiosseoglou, V.
Food hydrocolloids 2009 v.23 no.4 pp. 1156-1163
whey protein, carboxymethylcellulose, electrostatic interactions, solutions, oil-water interface, emulsions, protein concentrates, protein content, model food systems, chemical precipitation, food analysis, food composition
Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) was used as coagulation aid to precipitate the whey proteins from defatted milk serum and the ability of the resulting whey protein concentrate (WPC, protein content: 63.69%) to aid in the physicochemical stabilization of oil-in-water emulsions, during ageing or following the application of heat or freeze-thaw treatment, was investigated, along with the stability of emulsion systems prepared with a commercial whey protein isolate. The stability of WPC emulsions against droplet flocculation and creaming, and to a lesser extent against droplet coalescence, depended on the presence of the CMC molecules in the emulsion continuous phase and the extent of adsorbed protein-polysaccharide interactions as affected by the emulsion pH. Studies on whey protein-CMC interaction were conducted, both in biopolymer mixture solutions and emulsion systems, by applying zeta potential measurement and viscometry techniques. These results were combined with data on protein surface hydrophobicity and on methylene blue-binding ability of CMC molecules and indicated that whey protein-CMC interaction may take place in solution, both at neutral as well as at acidic environments, leading, depending on pH, to the formation of soluble or non-soluble amphiphilic conjugates. In emulsion systems, however, conjugate formation is observed only at relatively acidic pH environments, probably because at a neutral or at a slightly acidic pH whey protein adsorption to the emulsion droplet surface and molecular unfolding does not favour protein-polysaccharide interaction.