Novel structured emulsions for delivering of food flavours

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Mao, Like
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University College Cork
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Flavour release from food is determined by the binding of flavours to other food ingredients and the partition of flavour molecules among different phases. Food emulsions are used as delivery systems for food flavours, and tailored structuring in emulsions provides novel means to better control flavour release. The current study investigated four structured oil-in-water emulsions with structuring in the oil phase, oil-water interface, and water phase. Oil phase structuring was achieved by the formation of monoglyceride (MG) liquid crystals in the oil droplets (MG structured emulsions). Structured interface was created by the adsorption of a whey protein isolate (WPI)-pectin double layer at the interface (multilayer emulsion). Water phase structured emulsions referred to emulsion filled protein gels (EFP gels), where emulsion droplets were embedded in WPI gel network, and emulsions with maltodextrins (MDs) of different dextrose-equivalent (DE) values. Flavour compounds with different physicochemical properties were added into the emulsions, and flavour release (release rate, headspace concentration and air-emulsion partition coefficient) was described by GC headspace analysis. Emulsion structures, including crystalline structure, particle size, emulsion stability, rheology, texture, and microstructures, were characterized using differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction, light scattering, multisample analytical centrifuge, rheometry, texture analysis, and confocal laser scanning microscopy, respectively. In MG structured emulsions, MG self-assembled into liquid crystalline structures and stable β-form crystals were formed after 3 days of storage at 25 °C. The inclusion of MG crystals allowed tween 20 stabilized emulsions to present viscoelastic properties, and it made WPI stabilized emulsions more sensitive to the change of pH and NaCl concentrations. Flavour compounds in MG structured emulsions had lower initial headspace concentration and air-emulsion partition coefficients than those in unstructured emulsions. Flavour release can be modulated by changing MG content, oil content and oil type. WPI-pectin multilayer emulsions were stable at pH 5.0, 4.0, and 3.0, but they presented extensive creaming when subjected to salt solutions with NaCl ≥ 150 mM and mixed with artificial salivas. Increase of pH from 5.0 to 7.0 resulted in higher headspace concentration but unchanged release rate, and increase of NaCl concentration led to increased headspace concentration and release rate. The study also showed that salivas could trigger higher release of hydrophobic flavours and lower release of hydrophilic flavours. In EFP gels, increases in protein content and oil content contributed to gels with higher storage modulus and force at breaking. Flavour compounds had significantly reduced release rates and air-emulsion partition coefficients in the gels than the corresponding ungelled emulsions, and the reduction was in line with the increase of protein content. Gels with stronger gel network but lower oil content were prepared, and lower or unaffected release rates of the flavours were observed. In emulsions containing maltodextrins, water was frozen at a much lower temperature, and emulsion stability was greatly improved when subjected to freeze-thawing. Among different MDs, MD DE 6 offered the emulsion the highest stability. Flavours had lower air-emulsion partition coefficients in the emulsions with MDs than those in the emulsion without MD. Moreover, the involvement of MDs in the emulsions allowed most flavours had similar release profiles before and after freeze-thaw treatment. The present study provided information about different structured emulsions as delivery systems for flavour compounds, and on how food structure can be designed to modulate flavour release, which could be helpful in the development of functional foods with improved flavour profile.
Emulsion , Structure , Delivery system , Food flavour , Flavour release , Headspace analysis , Emulsion stability
Mao, L. 2014. Novel structured emulsions for delivering of food flavours. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.