September 30/Journal of Technology & Science -- According to recent research from Canada, "Gelation under shear during phase separation is evaluated as potential process to prepare microstructured functional ingredients with tunable theological properties. The physical and chemical reactions leading to gelation have been extensively studied under quiescent conditions."
"However, a clear understanding of the correlation between microstructure and bulk theological properties under shear is still lacking. Our work reports a number of interesting new findings, regarding WPI-kappa-car gel behavior. Steady shear flow behavior and dynamic viscoelastic properties of WPI-kappa-car (pH 7.0) were evaluated at 80 C. The steady viscosity was determined at shear rates from 0.02 to 200 s(-1). Frequency sweep measurements of the dynamic viscosity were performed in the angular frequency range of 0.015-15 Hz at a strain of 0.5%. Confocal microscopy was used to look at the gels microstructure after gelation and demixing process. The effect of shear treatment applied during heating was studied on 5% WPI mixes with varying kappa-car concentrations (0%, 0.2%, 0.3%, 0.5% and 0.6%). A steep increase in viscosity was observed at kappa-car concentration more than 0.3% and was related to segregating conditions. It was concluded that the low shear Newtonian viscosity for kappa-car in isolation changed linearly with kappa-car concentration. However, in mixtures, the low-shear Newtonian viscosity changed non-linearly with kappa-car concentration for non-sheared as well as for sheared systems. The effect of varying shear rates (3.6, 14.4, 43.2 and 86.4 s(-1)) was also studied on a 5% WPI-0.5% kappa-car mixture. A competition arises between the gelation and the phase separation depending on whether shear is applied during or after gelation. Applying shear during gelation modifies the microstructure and the viscoelastic properties of the microgels," wrote S. Gaaloul and colleagues, Laval University.
The researchers concluded, "This work brings further understanding on the segregating interactions taking place between whey proteins and kappa-car when used as functional ingredients in dairy products."
Gaaloul and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Food Engineering ("Rheological Study of the Effect of Shearing Process and Kappa-carrageenan Concentration on the Formation of Whey Protein Microgels at pH 7." Journal of Food Engineering, 2009;95(2):254-263).
For additional information, contact S.L. Turgeon, Laval University, Faculty Science Agriculture & Alimentat, Dairy Research Center STELA, Pavillon Paul Comtois, Ste. Foy, PQ G1K 7P4, Canada.
From the October 12, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition