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Effects of pulsed electric fields (PEF) treatment on physicochemical properties of potato starch

Han, Zhong, Zeng, Xin An, Yu, Shu Juan, Zhang, Ben Shan, Chen, Xiao Dong
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2009 v.10 no.4 pp. 481-485
potato starch, pulsed electric fields, nonthermal processing, physicochemical properties, starch granules, starch gels, particle size, crystal structure, crystallization, gelatinization, gelling properties, enthalpy, viscosity, denaturation, functional properties
Potato starch-water suspensions (8.0%, w/w) were subjected to pulsed electric fields (PEF) treatment at 30kV·cm⁻¹, 40kV·cm⁻¹ and 50kV·cm⁻¹, respectively. The physicochemical properties of PEF-treated potato starch samples were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), laser scattering technique, X-ray diffractometry (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and the Brabender rheological method, with native potato starch as reference. It has been concluded from SEM analysis that dissociation and damage of PEF-treated potato starch granules appeared. Some granules aggregated with each other and showed gel-like structures. It was revealed from particle size analysis that there was an obvious increase of the granule size after PEF treatment. This has been attributed to the aggregation among granules. It was also demonstrated from other analysis that relative crystallinity, gelatinization temperatures, gelatinization enthalpy, peak viscosity as well as breakdown viscosity of modified samples all decreased with increasing electric field strength. Industrial relevance: In this study, the effect of PEF treatment (up to 50kV·cm⁻¹) on physicochemical properties of potato starch has been investigated. The results from SEM images showed that dissociation, denaturation and damage of potato starch granules had been induced by the PEF treatments. Some of granule fragments showed gel-like structures, and congregated with each other or with other starch granules. Laser scattering measurements of particle size revealed that an obvious increase of granule size under electric field strength of 50kV·cm⁻¹, which was attributed to the aggregation of the starch granules. The X-ray diffraction pattern showed an obvious loss of crystalline structure after the PEF treatment at 50kV·cm⁻¹, which induced a trend of transformation from crystal to non-crystal in potato starch granules. DSC analysis showed a decrease in gelatinization temperatures (T o and T p) and gelatinization enthalpy (ΔH gel) with increasing electric field strength. Brabender rheological method has been used to show that the peak viscosity and breakdown viscosity decrease with increasing electric field strength of PEF treatment. All the results reveal that the PEF treatment can lead to an intragranular molecular rearrangement of potato starch granules, which induces changes of various physicochemical properties of the treated starch thus may endow it some new characteristics and functions. This phenomena may warrant further more detailed study.